Mountains groups join forces to oppose CSG

The Blue Mountains Conservation Society and Stop CSG Blue Mountains have joined communities across NSW to launch the Our Land, Our Water, Our Future campaign to protect land and water from the reckless expansion of coal and gas.

Alan Page, president of the Blue Mountains Conservation Society, said Our Land, Our Water, Our Future united scores of community and environment groups in NSW who wanted legally enforceable no-go zones to protect farmland and rural industries, water resources, special wild places and residential communities from coal and gas.

Jan O’Leary, from Stop CSG Blue Mountains, said people in the Mountains were mistaken if they thought coal and gas developments were only harming rural communities. A CSG exploration licence covering a massive part of the Blue Mountains has just been submitted.

“The truth is coal mining is undermining Sydney’s drinking water catchment, contaminating our water supplies and draining creeks and streams that should be filling our drinking water dams,” she said.

Alan Page added: “This issue affects everyone in the Blue Mountains.

“Sydney Catchment Authority figures show underground coal mines in the catchment drain three billion litres a year from the water supply, enough to fill 1200 Olympic-sized swimming pools.

“They also release tonnes of iron, manganese and other contaminants into streams that flow into our drinking-water dams. That’s why we are joining thousands of other people from across the state to say enough is enough.”

The NSW government last month announced a six-month freeze on processing new applications for coal seam gas exploration licences, while the cost of applying will soar from $1000 to $50,000.

Premier Barry O’Farrell told Parliament the freeze until September 26 would allow an audit of existing licences and pending applications to be carried out before a new assessment-and-allocation regime was put in place.

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