Keneally bows to farmers on Hunter coal seam gas
NSW Premier Kristina Keneally has announced that a future Labor government would prohibit exploration for coal seam gas near national parks and ban the use of toxic BTEX chemicals in extracting gas.
"There is no evidence to suggest these chemicals are being used in NSW, but everything seems to suggest they are carcinogenic," she said.
Speaking at a vineyard in the Hunter Valley, Ms Keneally said a future Labor government would require miners to pay larger compensation to landowners.
"A re-elected Keneally Government will mandate minimum payments to landowners to recognise the business consequences of exploration and extraction activities on farming," she said.
Ms Keneally also promised an audit of gas wells and drill sites to see how operators had complied with conditions of approval, and the appointment of an industry ombudsman to investigate complaints.