Baseline testing a priority for farmers near gas, mining developments

James Nason, 17/07/2014

Comprehensive and independent baseline water and soil studies should be undertaken prior to mining and coal seam gas operations commencing in all affected areas, NSW Farmers’ members agreed yesterday.

Narrabri District Council Chair Matthew Norrie brought the motion to the NSW Farmers’ annual conference in Sydney today where it was passed unanimously.

Mr Norrie believes the action was an indication that the farmers of New South Wales were craving adequate and robust scientific information in relation to the CSG and mining industries and more sophisticated public debate on this highly contentious issue.

“Often the message gets clouded with emotion. We’re not here to scare monger. We’re farmers and the health of our natural resource base is absolutely vital to the viability of our industry. With adequate testing regimes, we can at least have an informed debate on this issue,” Mr Norrie said.

“Baseline data is the key. You need to know what you’re starting with before you can assess an impact. It also ties into the liability issue – which the Chief Scientist of NSW has admitted herself – is flawed and a hugely grey area.  Assessing long term impact and the liability of companies as to damage to water or land resources starts with the baseline.

“I’m pleased members were behind our district council on this issue and the motion was passed unanimously,” Mr Norrie said.

Source: NSW Farmers



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