The Australian Greens will work to strengthen the government’s bill to consider the impacts of coal seam gas and large coal mines on water resources when assessing these projects.
“The government’s proposed changes fail to protect communities through a number of clear concessions to the mining industry,” Senator Waters, the Australian Greens mining spokesperson, said.
“The Environment Minister is ignoring the farming communities in Queensland and New South Wales where he has already approved major coal seam gas projects.
“It’s too late for those communities where water quality and supply is already being put at risk so I will move an amendment for the government to retrospectively apply these new standards to previously approved coal seam gas and coal projects.
“As further evidence that the government is wedded to the mining industry, the Environment Minister is ignoring the potentially damaging impacts of shale and tight gas mining on water resources.
“I will also move an amendment to include shale and tight gas mining to protect Victorian and Western Australian communities that are in danger of having their water resources damaged by these types of mining.
“The government has still not ruled out its dangerous proposal to hand federal environment protection powers, including this new power, to state governments.
“I will move an amendment to ensure the power to assess water impacts of coal seam gas stays in federal hands, rather than being handed back to the very state governments that have let this industry run rampant.
“If the government is serious about protecting water resources, it must support my amendments or otherwise concede its bill is just a desperate political ploy in an election year,” Senator Waters said.
Senator Larissa Waters Australian Greens Senator for Queensland