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Thursday, 09 May 2013 12:02

Submission on coal seam gas exploration from the Josephite Justice Office

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Emphasising coal seam gas exploration as a significant issue for the Congregations across Ireland, Aotearoa New Zealand, Peru and Australia, the JJO affirmed the concerns of community members, scientists and environmentalists, who have described the unexplored, as well as the demonstrable consequences of coal seam gas exploration.

"We believe that any decisions regarding coal seam gas exploration need to protect the rights of individuals and communities to a safe environment, one which protects their land and the future of their children and their communities."

"The Josephite Justice Office urges the Government to take a precautionary approach to this industry and to protect those areas that are most at-risk, including urban areas, agricultural land, water catchments and high conservation value natural areas."

The submission proposed the following changes to the amendments of the State Environmental Planning Policy:

  • To include a system of comprehensive assessment, including the full range of potential health risks, and risks associated with air pollution, ground and surface water contamination and noise;
  • To broaden the buffer zone to include at least a 2-kilometre safeguard around residential dwellings.
  • To provide exclusions for all identified food-producing land, water catchment areas and sensitive environmental areas.
  • To include in the regulations all forms of unconventional gas extraction, including shale gas and tight gas.

Read the submission in full here.