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Harmonised CSG standards still need feds

9 December 2011-Today's announcement of a work plan towards harmonised standards for coal seam gas by the Standing Council on Energy and Resources (SCER) is a cop out by the federal government, said Australian Greens Senator and mining spokesperson Larissa Waters.

"The Greens are concerned that this is an excuse for the federal government to continue to wash its hands of a proper regulatory role in the water impacts of CSG," Senator Waters said.

"The Greens would welcome consistency across the states in CSG regulation, but it would have to represent an increase in environmental standards.

"And given the states' poor track record in protecting the environment to date, we still believe that federal oversight of the mining impacts on water through our environmental laws is appropriate - water is a nationally significant issue.

"It is concerning that there is only one environment Minister on SCER, which is otherwise comprised of energy ministers who seem to believe it is their role to promote and not to regulate the CSG industry.

"We are also concerned at the pace of the work program, which wouldn't see any legislative change until at least 2013.

"Where is the moratorium on CSG approvals until the science about its long term water impacts is in?

"That is what would build community confidence in the regulation of CSG, not a government-sanctioned spin campaign.

"We urge SCER to act on recommendation 1 of last week's Senate Committee Inquiry report, for a review of the appropriateness of 'adaptive management' - the suck it and see approach - of CSG given the significant information gaps about its long term and cumulative impacts."

Media contact: Elissa McKay 0419 626 725

 

 

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