The old parties have made it clear they support coal seam gas, by voting against the Australian Greens’ motion in the Senate to stop this new high-risk fossil-fuel industry.

“Despite a flurry of recent opposition to coal seam gas in urban marginal seats, today’s vote on my motion confirmed that the old parties are wedded to the mining industry and the Greens are the only party that cares about our land and our water and the communities that rely on them,” Senator Larissa Waters, Australian Greens mining spokesperson, said.

“How politically convenient for the old parties that new state rules in New South Wales only apply to urban areas, protecting western Sydney, where both the Prime Minister and Opposition Leader are so blatantly campaigning – but what about rural and regional areas?

“Federal Environment Minister Tony Burke is trying to claim credit for the New South Wales Government’s pitiful coal seam gas restrictions, happily ignoring that they do nothing to protect rural land and communities.

“Minister Burke has approved every single coal seam gas project that has crossed his desk, including enormous gas fields across Queensland’s best farmland and most recently in New South Wales at Gloucester.

“Minister Burke is channelling AWU Secretary Paul Howes who last week called on the government to expand coal seam gas mining across Australia, risking our food security and jobs in agriculture and tourism.

“Australians are deeply concerned about the damaging and lasting effects of coal seam gas and are outraged by the attitude of the old parties. One brave protester had to endure being sprayed with capsicum spray on Tuesday at the hands of a New South Wales police officer.

“The Greens are the only party standing up to the big mining companies, on behalf of Australians that care about protecting our land and water for generations to come,” Senator Waters said.