Monday, 22 February 2016
Coal Seam Gas
That the Senate—
(a) notes that:
(i) the Federal Government has approved coal seam gas mining in the Pilliga Forest near Narrabri in New South Wales, with Santos planning to develop an 850-well field,
(ii) the Pilliga Push is an ongoing civil disobedience campaign against this mining led by the Gamilaraay and Gomeroi peoples, the Knitting Nannas and other grassroots action groups in New South Wales, and
(iii) the Narrabri coal seam gas project presents an unacceptable risk to the region's groundwater and the Great Artesian Basin; and
(b) calls on the Federal Government to:
(i) condemn the New South Wales Police Force's use of pepper spray against the protesters, and
(ii) withdraw its approval of the Narrabri coal seam gas project.
Mr Deputy President, I seek leave to make a one-minute statement.
The president of the Narrabri Chamber of Commerce, Russell Stewart, says the vast majority of Narrabri Shire is pro-Santos, and sick to death of the fly-in fly-out protesters. Mr Stewart said, 'We don't have a problem with coal seam gas. We have a problem with out-of-towners coming here and revving things up.' The Northern Daily Leader reported that two South Australian women locked themselves to an excavator and police asked them to remove themselves. In 2014, one lady at Maules Creek positioned herself underneath a bulldozer blade as it was being lowered. This is reckless and stupid. We remember the fake press release sent by Jonathan Moylan and the Greens congratulating him on wiping $314 million off the value of Whitehaven Coal. The Greens cheer on law-breakers, but our police have better things to do with their time than to be at these blockades every day where protesters put themselves in danger. I will ensure this disgraceful motion is relayed to the New South Wales police minister, Troy Grant, so that he can let every police officer in the state know what the Greens really think.
I seek leave to make a 10-second statement.
This motion is factually incorrect. No approval has been given for this project. The project is currently being assessed in accordance with national environmental law.