Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Liberal Government goes easy on CSG Polluters

The NSW Government is today trying to sneak legislation through Parliament which would significantly reduce penalties for Coal Seam Gas and Petroleum polluters, restricting the powers of the NSW Environmental Protection Authority to prosecute offenders. 

The Liberal Party has buried deep in its bill, a provision to remove severe penalties for CSG and Petroleum polluters " "wilfully or negligently causes any substance to leak, spill or otherwise escape in a manner that harms or is likely to harm the environment" . The ability to prosecute polluters before the Supreme Court and the imposition of meaningful penalties such as prison sentences and steep financial penalties will not apply.

The Government is removing meaningful deterrents for CSG and Petroleum miners and protecting those guilty of damaging the environment in NSW from penalty. 

Whilst anyone else responsible for a spill or leak, which causes harm to the environment, can face severe penalties like prison time, the same level of penalties not apply to CSG miners. 

This is why the public loses faith in politics. The People of NSW should have confidence that the Government will stand up to CSG miners in NSW and enforce environmental protections. 

We deserve a Government which guarantees that CSG and Petroleum miners who damage our environment will face severe penalties. Offenders should feel the full force of the law.
The Labor Party supports a moratorium on CSG mining in NSW until all of the Chief Scientist’s recommendations are adopted. This is what I told parliament today.

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