The speedily developing coal seam gas industry has the capability to revitalise elements of countryside Australia, but if feebly supervised will lead to ”environmental and social disaster”, the National Party’s new gas guideline says.
The party, which has been deplored by some farmers for being too intimately connected to mining corporations, will encourage more regulation and tighter ecological security, principally on farmland.
Almost sixty percent of the nation’s existing and proposed coal seam gas operations exist within federal electorates held by National MPs.
The party adopted five philosophies that it says will administer its policy towards the industry, which aims to drill up to 40,000 gas wells through Queensland and NSW in the next decade. The party assured the public that no drilling would progress without validation that it would not damage the surroundings, and key rural land would be categorized as “no-drilling” zones. Landholders should receive monetary restitution based on gas extracted from their land, and the territories that are known as gas paddocks should observe a ”fair share” of the profits speculated back into their communities.
The policy stated that seam gas must not be developed near residential areas. In an assembly, it was decided that if these conditions are met, the industry could prove to be beneficial to Australia.The federal independent MP Tony Windsor is discussing stronger national regulation of the industry, and has made his backing for the government’s mineral resources rent tax conditional.
The National Farmers Federation is not backing Mr.Windsor’s stance saying that while several farmers are concerned about the impact of the industry on water, they have no desire for national oversight. They believe higher regulation would lead to ”a huge army of environmental police who are going to be tramping over farms all over the place, imposing their will on operations other than coal seam gas”.
Source : http://www.smh.com.au/environment/water-issues/nationals-want-tighter-controls-on-coal-seam-gas-20111106-1n1z0.html
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