Thursday, 6 March 2014
Lock the Gate Alliance
That the Senate—
(i) the serious concern shared by communities and experts across Australia about the significant risks coal and gas developments pose to our communities, public health, water resources and natural areas, and
(ii) that in the week beginning 2 March 2014, a delegation of 16 community representatives from the Lock the Gate network have travelled to Canberra from across the nation, seeking the support of their elected representatives to protect their communities, their water and their land; and
(b) calls on the Federal Government to urgently act on the concerns of the Lock the Gate network by:
(i) passing national laws to protect food-producing land from coal and gas mining and give landholders the power of veto over mining on their land,
(ii) protecting communities by establishing a national Environmental Protection Authority and a new Clean Air and Water Act; and
(iii) excluding from the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement any clause or instrument that undermines the power of Australian governments to protect land, water and communities.
Resource development has long been the backbone of Australia's economy. The resources sector employs thousands of people and supports regional communities across Australia. Coal and gas provide the majority of Australia's energy needs. The development of resources must occur with the involvement of local communities. That is why this government supports the responsible development of resources under three co-existence principles: (1) access to prime agricultural land should only occur with the farmer's agreement; (2) there is no long-term damage to underground water supply; and (3) agricultural production is not permanently impaired. Again, I say: this government not only supports but expects the responsible development of resources, with appropriate rights for landholders, and we will continue to work closely with all stakeholders to provide leadership on this important issue.