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NSW farmers call for premier to deliver on CSG promise
20/07/2012 - NSW farmers attending their annual conference have called on the state government to protect agricultural land from coal seam gas (CSG) mining.
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Delegates at the NSW Farmers' annual conference in Sydney on Thursday unanimously passed a motion calling on Premier Barry O'Farrell to deliver on his promise to protect farmers.
Delegates are concerned mining and gas developments will not be bound by proposed water protection rules.
NSW Farmers president Fiona Simson said NSW people supported protections for agricultural land and water.
"It doesn't look like parts of the government are listening to voters and this is why our members have called on the premier to intervene," she said in a statement.
The motion was passed amid concern that a proposal being considered by the government could see waste from CSG projects reinjected into underground aquifers.
The NSW Office of Water's aquifer interference draft policy has been given to farmers but has not been officially distributed by the government.
It proposes to allow economically significant coal and CSG mining projects to proceed even if they are found to have a negative effect on the water table.
The document also explores ways of disposing of waste from coal seam gas mining projects.
"Alternative disposal options might include reinjection to an aquifer, discharge to a river, on-selling to a nearby industry, agricultural development or potable water supply," it said.
Releasing the document to journalists on Thursday, Labor's environment spokesman Luke Foley said the coalition was breaking an election promise to impose tough standards on CSG projects.
Senior Nationals minister Duncan Gay maintained the coalition was committed to tough environmental standards for CSG projects near farmland.
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