Activists quick to make demands but offer no real solution

January 20th, 2017

Activist group Lock the Gate’s demand for a reset in mining policy following the retirement of New South Wales Premier Mike Baird is another example of the lack of understanding and appreciation for the balance between energy security and good policy.

In a statement posted on its website, the activist’s NSW coordinator was quoted saying:

“One of the last things the Baird Government has done is release draft changes to planning law that fast track coal and gas approvals, while sidelining the rights of farmers and the land and water they rely on.”

What they conveniently forget to acknowledge is that the Baird Government has been working on this issue for a while (noted in the NSW Parliament’s Budget Estimates hearings last September).

And while the activist message consistently pushes a renewable reliant energy agenda, the fact of the situation is that the nation is not yet at a stage where that can take place without negatively impacting the current level of energy security expected by consumers.

The activist group is quick to make demands of a Premier who is yet to be appointed, insisting that “the incoming Premier needs to stand up as leader and take urgent action to safeguard food-producing lands, precious groundwater resources and the drinking water of our major cities from risky coal and gas mining.”

Yet, we know for a fact (thanks to scientific evidence) that the extraction of natural gas can be done safely (see here, here and here).

We are in full support of an open discussion with the new Premier surrounding natural gas and energy policy, as the country faces an energy crisis, and despite ample on-shore gas reserves, there is discussion surrounding the industry paying up to $300 million to import natural gas to the south-east.

New South Wales has a long history of corporation and coexistence with farmers and other land users protecting the State’s resources, both prior to Mike Baird’s administration and which we trust will continue following the transition in leadership.

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