Senate debates

Thursday, 15 May 2014


Coal Seam Gas

12:11 pm

Photo of Mitch FifieldMitch Fifield (Victoria, Liberal Party, Assistant Minister for Social Services) Share this | Hansard source

We acknowledge that this issue has progressed overnight. However, the government does not support this motion. This government supports the responsible development of resources based on scientific evidence with the involvement of local communities and appropriate environmental safeguards. We have long held the view that the development of resources should occur under three coexistence principles: that there is no long-term damage to the underground water supply, that agricultural production is not permanently impaired, and that access to prime agricultural land should only occur with the farmer's agreement. Landholders' rights should be respected if they do not wish for their land to be used for exploration or production of gas. Equal respect should be given to those landholders who do choose to allow their land to be used for exploration or production of gas, and they should have the right to say yes without their privacy and their safety being impacted. We support the right of people to peacefully protest; however, in relation to the situation on the Kyogle-Bentley road near Lismore, New South Wales, the rights of the landowner have not been respected.


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