James Jackson ~ NSW Farmers President .
NSW Farmers urges the NSW government to press pause on any proposal to re-commence coal seam gas mining.
Security of groundwater and other water sources is of paramount importance to farmers, communities and local food and fibre production.
Farmers fear that CSG projects such as the Narrabri Gas project could pose a significant risk to the precious Great Artesian Basin, and a precautionary approach is essential. We need 100 percent certainty that there will be no impact on the Basin.
It is especially concerning that a major farm insurer has now flagged that it will not insure farmers for public liability if they have CSG infrastructure on their property. This has left farmers in CSG hot spots wondering whether there is more to know about the risks of CSG development.
NSW Farmers Association is not opposed to CSG and recognises the economic benefits for regional communities, provided that the projects do not put at risk our precious water sources, soil, and air quality.
This is why our members are asking government to ensure that CSG development will not put their farms at risk by commissioning a fully independent review of the risks posed by CSG development to the Great Artesian Basin and other water sources, and by implementing all of the recommendations of the Chief Scientist.
Prime Agricultural Land must be reserved for food and fibre production. Use of this land for mining or other industrial purposes is short sighted and poses a grave risk Australia’s food security, and the rural and regional communities that depend on the farming sector.
Our Members call on the NSW government to ensure that any approval for coal seam gas development is informed by comprehensive ongoing independent baseline water, soil and air studies.