MEDIA RELEASE Environment Agriculture

LANDHOLDERS DESERVE RIGHT TO SAY NO TO CSG

The Nationals have heard the concerns of our communities and will demand stronger safeguards for landholders regarding onshore coal seam gas operations should the industry ever develop in Victoria.

The Nationals support landowners having the right to say no to coal seam gas extraction activity on their property.

We also believe the regions where mining takes place should share the benefits from the activity. The Nationals support the introduction of a landowner and community benefit structure, so that when mining activity takes place the local community and landowner get a share of the wealth to invest in local priorities.

The Victorian Nationals will never support any activity that risks harm to our state’s water or land assets. Victoria’s agricultural industries are the lifeblood of our regional communities and are too valuable to jeopardise.

The previous Victorian Coalition Government, of which we were part, introduced a sensible moratorium to stop any hydraulic fracking activity and stop any new coal seam gas exploration or extraction licences until more is known about this activity and how it might affect our water and land assets.

The previous Victorian Coalition Government also brought in legislation so that BTEX (benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, xylene) chemicals can never be used in any future fracking practice.

In January this year Premier Daniel Andrews indicated the current moratorium would be extended until a public Parliamentary Inquiry is conducted.

The Nationals support maintaining the moratorium, and believe there should be no coal seam gas mining or extraction in Victoria until thorough scientific assessment and community consultation has been completed.

The Nationals also believe we need to better protect landowners. The concerns of our community are important to us, and Victoria’s farming resources are too valuable to lose.

        The Nationals position on onshore unconventional gas:

·     Maintain Victoria’s moratorium on coal seam gas
·     Only if science proves CSG is safe should industry proceed
·     Ensure water resources and the environment are protected
·     Farmers should have the right to say no to CSG extraction on their land
·     Farmers should get fair compensation for and complete rehabilitation of any CSG activities
·     Any CSG activity must deliver a benefit to the land owner
·     Any CSG activity must deliver a benefit to the local community