Remember it’s better to get something in, then to write the “perfect” piece. Your opinion as a concerned member of the community is all that is needed!
by 26 April – Chief Scientist – the NSW Chief Scientist is conducting an independent review of CSG, at the request of the Premier
See guidelines here Lock the Gate guide to submissions to NSW Chief Scientist
by 12 April – NSW Govt proposed amendments to the State Environmental Planning Policy (SEPP)
Barry O’Farrell’s proposed amendments to SEPP for mining still do not protect water, agricultural land or homes. The SEPP must apply state-wide so that all citizens enjoy the same protection. Can you write a submission and ask the government to strengthen the amendments so they protect communities? Email firstname.lastname@example.org or send your submission to “The Director Strategic Regional Policy, Department of Planning and Infrastructure, GPO Box 39, SYDNEY NSW 2001” by April 12. Significant loopholes in the amended SEPP include:
Failure to protect water catchments from mining – a 2011 Barry O’Farrell promise;
Failure to protect agricultural land other than narrowly defined “critical industry clusters” – currently vineyards and horse studs;
Allowing local councils to “opt out” of exclusion zones – e.g. a “pro-Barry O’Farrell” council in Western Sydney could decide that it is no longer worried about coal seam gas in residential areas and opt out of the exclusion zones, allowing for CSG well development within hundreds of metres from homes;
No buffer zones to prevent coal seam gas mining up to the boundaries of critical industry infrastructure;
Ambiguity on whether large lot residential or villages are protected;
No rights for communities to say “No” to proposed gas fields;
Do not appear to cover other forms of unconventional gas, such as tight sands and shale gas;
Leave it ambiguous as to whether other mining industries will have a back door to access coal seam gas for production.
by 6 April – Gujarat Coal’s proposed expansion of longwall mining in Wollongong
This has serious implications for the Sydney Water Catchment Special Area. Submissions close 6 April.
The expansion of coal mining in Russell Vale will undermine and threaten a number of rivers, creeks and swamps that flow into the Cataract Reservoir, which is one of the dams that supply Wollongong & parts of Sydney with drinking water. They will even mine under the shores of the Reservoir itself. Furthermore, the Gujarat NRE Major Expansion at Russell Vale Colliery will mean a large, new greenhouse gas source right here in Wollongong. The mine will emit 95,000 tonnes of methane per year. Sign the pre-prepared submission at Otford Eco Submission