O’Farrell Government attacks farmers concerned about coal seam gas
PLANNING Minister Brad Hazzard has launched an extraordinary attack on farmers across NSW – claiming the Farmers Association is ‘irrelevant’ because of their opposition to Coal Seam Gas and his strategic land use policy.
“They should buy relevance and get back in the process instead of just sniping from the sidelines.”
(Brad Hazzard http://www.abc.net.au/rural/news/content/201204/s3489330.html)
“The O’Farrell Government has taken to attacking farmers right across NSW who don’t agree with their position on Coal Seam Gas,” Shadow Planning Minister, Linda Burney said today.
“Farmers have every right to be angry – the strategic land use policy delivered by the O’Farrell Government couldn’t be further from what they were promised by the Premier prior to the election.
“There was no mention of ‘ring fencing’ areas, keeping mining and Coal Seam Gas off agricultural land and giving farmers the right to say no to exploration.
“The Planning Minister can hardly criticise the people of regional NSW for highlighting a series of broken election promises in his strategic land use policy.”
Shadow Minister for Primary Industries and Resources, Steve Whan said: “The Planning Minister has shown no respect for his own consultation process with his attack on the farmers who disagree with his policy.”
“Whether the Planning Minister likes it or not, the contribution of all stakeholders needs to be considered. NSW cannot have a senior O’Farrell Government Minister attacking one side of the equation just because he doesn’t like what they have to say.
“We need to ensure that all sides are heard when it comes to land use strategies, especially in regards to Coal Seam Gas extraction.
“While there are some positives in the strategic land use plan, it misses the mark when it comes to keeping the promises made by the O’Farrell Government before the election.
“Even the National Party has been forced to make a submission opposing its own government policy because it is such a resounding departure from its election commitments.
“Unlike the Planning Minister, the NSW Labor Opposition has listened to farmers. Until a water-tight regulatory framework is in place based on independent scientific research and conclusive evidence, we should not be allowing Coal Seam Gas mining to proceed unabated.”