Sunday, 7 June 2020

Berejiklian Government determined to expand coal seam gas mining in New South Wales voted down bill to reintroduce the public interest as a ground for certain decisions relating to petroleum titles and impose a moratorium on CSG exploration & mining

The Sydney Morning Herald, 4 June 2020: 

The Berejiklian government has rushed to defeat a private member's bill to derail the controversial Narrabri gas project, as anti-coal seam gas groups were preparing to target National party seats. 

In a rare move, the Coalition suspended the day's parliamentary agenda on Thursday to debate a coal seam gas moratorium bill, in a bid to fast-track its demise in the Legislative Assembly. 

It comes after the bill, put forward by independent MP Justin Field, passed the NSW upper house on Wednesday night with the support of Labor and the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party. 
Santos's Narrabri project could supply up to half of NSW's gas needs.CREDIT:DEAN SEWELL

The bill, which the government voted down in the lower house, sought to impose an immediate moratorium on the prospecting or mining of coal seam gas in NSW, and classifies certain areas as permanent "no go zones". 

One of these zones is the Great Artesian Basin recharge zone, which covers part of the area for Santos' proposed $3 billion project to drill 850 gas wells in Narrabri, northern NSW, many of them within the Pilliga state forest. 

Deputy Premier John Barilaro attacked the Shooters party - the Nationals' key rivals in the bush - for their "unholy alliance" with Labor and the Greens in supporting the bill, which he said would "destroy" jobs..... 

Coal seam gas mining has long been a vexed issue for the National Party, amid fierce opposition from farmers and community groups. It was a key factor in the party losing the northern NSW seat of Ballina to the Greens at the 2015 election. 

Shooters MP Roy Butler, whose seat of Barwon includes the township of Narrabri, said the "vast majority" of his electorate opposed coal seam gas, predominantly out of concern for groundwater contamination. 

"The reality is if you don't have a good domestic supply of water in a town like Narrabri, Coonamble, any of those places, it doesn't matter how many jobs you've got, because you're not going to have anyone in the town," Mr Butler said....


Petroleum (Onshore) Amendment (Coal Seam Gas Moratorium) Bill 2019 [NSW]Explanatory note

The first and second reading of this bill occurred on 22 August 2019.

In the vote of 5 June 2020 which defeated the bill both Nationals MP for Clarence Chris Gulaptis and Labor MP for Lismore Janelle Saffin were designated as "Pairs" and therefore deemed absent from the vote.

Coaltion Government MLAs who voted down the bill and their electorates:

Anderson, K. (Tamworth) Ayres, S. (Penrith) Barilaro, J. (Monaro) Berejiklian, G. (Willoughby) Clancy, J. (Albury) Conolly, K. (Riverstone) Constance, A. (Bega) Cooke, S. (Cootamundra) Coure, M. (Oatley) Crouch, A. (Terrigal) Davies, T. (Mulgoa) Dominello, V. (Ryde) Elliott, D. (Baulkham Hills) Evans, L. (Heathcoate) Gibbons, M. (Holsworthy) Griffin, J. (Manly) Henskens, A. (Ku-ring-gai) Johnsen, M. (Upper Hunter) Kean, M. (Hornsby) Lee, G. (Parramatta) Lindsay, W. (East Hills) Marshall, A. (Northern Tablelands) O'Dea, J. (Davidson) Pavey, M. (Oxley) Perrottet, D. (Epping) Petinos, E. (Miranda) Preston, R. (Hawkesbury) Roberts, A. (Lane Cove) Saunders, D. (Dubbo) Sidgreaves, P. (Camden) Sidoti, J. (Drummoyne) Smith, N. (Wollondilly) Speakman, M. (Cronulla) Taylor, M. (Seven Hills) Toole, P. (Bathurst) Tuckerman, W. (Goulburn) Upton, G. (Vaucluse) Ward, G. (Kiama).

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