January 17, 2013
NSW Farmers has labelled the NSW Government’s attempts to protect agricultural land from the mining and coal seam gas industries as farcical. Its comments follow the release of documents this week which outline how the proposed *gateway process will operate. NSW Farmers’ CEO Matt Brand said the drafts confirm there is no gate in the gateway process because the government’s expert panel cannot prevent any damaging projects from proceeding. Mr Brand added that the new cost benefit tool released this week failed to take into consideration the long term value of food and fibre production in NSW. “This is further evidence the government is snubbing the community on this land use issue. First it refuses to identify any agricultural land which cannot be mined – then its gives us a gateway without a gate. “Worse still, the government is laying out a red carpet to mining and CSG companies with its cost benefit tool. Farmers and the public have a right to be outraged. “There appears to be nothing this government won’t do to break its election commitments on mining and coal seam gas. “The O’Farrell Government promised to protect agricultural land and water, but has shied away from delivering a framework which will deliver any certainty for farmers or future generations,” he said. NSW Farmers is renewing its call for government to reconsider its decision to capitulate to the mining and gas industry on land use planning.