Labor promises to ban CSG in north of the Northern Rivers
COAL seam gas exploration and extraction will be banned permanently across the Northern Rivers if the ALP wins the state election in March.
State Opposition leader John Robertson made the policy announcement yesterday in Lismore alongside Ballina, Lismore and Tweed Labor candidates Paul Spooner, Isaac Smith and Ron Goodman.
The policy would also not renew existing CGS licences and refuse any applications to expand existing operations on the Northern Rivers.
While Mr Robertson would not confirm whether the policy would be applied across the state, he did say the Opposition would "push the pause button" on unconventional gas mining until more was understood about the consequences.
He acknowledged both sides of politics had been "too quick to rush into this industry".
Will Labor's promised CSG ban on the Northern Rivers sway your vote?
This poll ended on 03 October 2014.
Yes, it will make me more likely to vote Labor
Yes, it will make me less likely to vote Labor
No, but it might make me more likely to vote Labor if the ban included the Clarence
No, but it might make me more likely to vote Labor if the ban covered all of NSW
No, CSG is not an election issue for me
This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.
Mr Robertson said the policy would ensure local industries including dairy, beef, sugar cane and tourism that relied on the "pristine environment" were not adversely affected by CSG mining.
"We don't know the full impacts of coal seam gas and until such time as we fully understand the consequences of coal seam gas exploration and extraction, I've said we should push the pause button until the science is properly developed," he said.
Mr Robertson said the policy was also about supporting the wishes of local communities, citing figures from a Lismore City Council survey that found 87% of people were opposed to CSG in the region.
The announcement was made at Riverside Park in Lismore, the starting point for the original 8000-strong community protest against CSG.
The Labor Party's CSG ban would apply to the six Northern Rivers councils: Ballina, Byron, Kyogle, Lismore, Tweed and Richmond Valley.
Gasfield Free Northern Rivers "cautiously welcomed" the announcement but was disappointed the Clarence Valley council area was not mentioned in the ban.