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NSW State Election 2015

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Window Of Opportunity Responses

1. Do you personally support the desire of the regional community for the Northern Rivers to remain gasfield free?

Labor:

Isaac Smith, Limsore: I will personally support the desire of the regional community for the Northern Rivers to remain gasfield free

Paul Spooner, Ballina: Yes, I do support the desire of the regional community to remain Gasfield Free. The environment of the region should be protected for current and future generations. It is not appropriate to turn the region into an industrial mining landscape. The protection of the region from CSG should be a priority for all levels of government.

Ron Goodman, Tweed: Yes, wholeheartedly.

Trent Gilbert, Clarence: Absolutely. I believe this industry poses some large risks to the viability and the vitality of our region, risks that at this point in time should be avoided in any way possible until we are absolutely sure that this industry is not only safe but beneficial for all those who call the Northern Rivers home.

GREENS:

Adam Guise, Lismore: I wholeheartedly support a Gasfield Free Northern Rivers. This is demonstrated by my commitment over the last 3 years actively campaigning to protect our region from invasive gas drilling. My work with Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham and Lock the Gate Alliance as Regional Coordinator shows my commitment to keeping our region gasfield free. As someone who loves this region, I will fight to protect our precious water and farmland from industrialised gasfields.

Andrea Vickers, Tweed: As a committed advocate for community self determination and ‘real democracy’, I stand behind the Northern Rivers community 100% in its firm stance on keeping this region gasfield free.

Tamara Smith, Ballina:  My family  has lived in the northern rivers region for 4 generations (over    120 years). I am unconditionally opposed to coal seam mining, tight sands mining and fracking in the northern rivers and deeply committed to ensuring that the Northern Rivers remains gasfield free to protect our    tourism,    agriculture and    service    industries, as well as our unique ecosystems and water catchments. I attended the Bentley blockade over 2014 to    help protect    our land and water from this invasive industry.   

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2. If re-elected will you undertake to formally support legislation to cancel, buy back or otherwise extinguish all existing exploration and production licenses for unconventional gas in the Northern Rivers?

Labor:

Isaac Smith, Lismore: I will you undertake to formally support legislation to cancel, buy back or otherwise extinguish all existing exploration and production licenses for unconventional gas in the Northern Rivers

Paul Spooner, Ballina: Yes, I am committed to ensure all necessary legislation is in place to cancel, buy back or otherwise extinguish exploration and production licenses for unconventional gas in the Northern Rivers.

Ron Goodman, Tweed: Labor will declare a ban on coal seam gas (CSG) activities and unconventional gas exploration in the Northern Rivers region. Labor will not allow new CSG exploration licenses, will refuse to grant CSG extraction licenses, reject renewals of existing licences and refuse any applications to expand existing operations.

Trent Gilbert, Clarence: If I am elected I will support legislation to cancel, buy back or otherwise extinguish all existing exploration and production licenses for unconventional gas in the Northern Rivers.

GREENS:

Adam Guise, Lismore: If elected my first action in office would be to move legislation to cancel all licences across the Northern Rivers. This is what the community demands and has spent the last 4 years campaigning for. The Petroleum (Onshore) Act provides a number of avenues for cancelling or not renewing licences, with no need for compensation. I would also push for a “gas moratorium area”, which exist elsewhere in NSW, so that the Northern Rivers is protected in perpetuity.

Andrea Vickers, Tweed: If elected I will formally support any such legislation.

Tamara Smith, Ballina:   If    elected  as  the member    for    Ballina    at    the    NSW    state    election    in    2015,    my    first    act    would    be    to  introduce    a    bill    into Parliament    to    cancel    the    unconventional    gas    exploration    and    production  licenses    across    the Northern    Rivers;    followed    by     the    rest    of    NSW.    The    Greens    are    the    only    party    to  unconditionally    oppose coal    seam    gas    mining,    not    just    in    the    Northern    Rivers,    but    also    across    all    of NSW.    We    argue    that water aquifers do not    recognise election    boundaries    and    that    the    serious  risks    posed    by    unconventional mining to the quality of  ater,  food supply and    people’s    health    far outweighs    any    short-term financial gain.    

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3. Does the party that you represent have any formal policy to enact legislation to cancel, buy back or otherwise extinguish all existing exploration and production licenses for unconventional gas in the Northern Rivers?

Labor:

Isaac Smith, Lismore: The party that I represent will formalise policy to enact legislation to cancel, buy back or otherwise extinguish all existing exploration and production licenses for unconventional gas in the Northern Rivers

Paul Spooner, Ballina: Yes, the Labor Party has made a solid commitment to ban CSG in the Northern Rivers. Under the policy, Labor’s Plan for a CSG Free Northern Rivers, Labor will not allow new CSG exploration licenses, will refuse to grant CSG extraction licenses, reject renewals of existing licenses and refuse any applications to expand existing operations in the Northern Rivers.

Ron Goodman, Tweed: Please see the answer to Question 2. I have attached our full policy document for a gasfield-free Northern Rivers.

Trent Gilbert, Clarence: The NSW Labor Party has declared that the Tweed, Byron, Ballina, Lismore, Kyogle, Richmond Valley and Clarence Valley LGA’s will be CSG Free under a NSW Labor Government. This policy includes the prevention of any CSG related activity in the Northern Rivers.

GREENS:

Adam Guise, Lismore: As a Greens candidate, my party has extensively advocated for the protection of land and water from invasive gasfields. Our policy unequivocally opposes coal seam gas, and calls for a special Commission of Inquiry into the impact of this industry.

http://nsw.greens.org.au/policies/nsw/coal-and-coal-seam-gas

The Greens instigate an Upper House inquiry into coal seam gas in 2011.http://www.parliament.nsw.gov.au/prod/parlment/committee.nsf/0/29AE48525CFAEA7CCA2578E3001ABD1C
Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham has repeatedly spoken out against invasive gasfields in parliament.

http://jeremybuckingham.org/category/mining/coal-seam-gas-mining/

The Greens have also introduced a number of Bills to parliament calling for a moratorium and to protect land and water from irresponsible mining.

http://www.parliament.nsw.gov.au/prod/parlment/nswbills.nsf/0/F4CE08EEB343A54CCA25788B00242FD6

http://jeremybuckingham.org/2014/10/23/the-greens-responsible-mining-bill-2014-2nd-read-speech-jeremy-buckingham-23-october-2014/

Andrea Vickers, Tweed: The Greens have prepared legislation to empower local communities to make decisions in relation to unconventional gas development and protect water resources, agricultural land, national parks and state forests as well as residential areas. The Responsible Mining Bill was developed by the Office of Jeremy Buckingham, Greens MP and spokesperson on Mining.

Tamara Smith, Ballina: Yes.    The    Greens    initiated    a    NSW    Parliamentary    inquiry    into    coal    seam    gas    in    2011,    we    support    the right    for    landowners    to    say    no    to    gas    exploration    and    we    oppose    coal    seam    gas    exploration    and production,    and    any    associated    pipeline    and    export    infrastructure    developments.    The    Greens support    the    cancellation    of    current    gas    exploration    licenses    (see: http://nsw.greens.org.au/policies/nsw/coal-and-coal-seam-gas).     

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4. If re-elected would you and the party you represent initiate any other legislative or regulatory action that would have the effect of preventing any further activity by gas companies in relation to exploration and/or production licenses in the Northern Rivers.

Labor:

Isaac Smith, Lismore: I and the party I represent will initiate any other legislative or regulatory action that would have the effect of preventing any further activity by gas companies in relation to exploration and/or production licenses in the Northern Rivers.

Paul Spooner, Ballina: If re-elected would you and the party you represent initiate any other legislative or regulatory action that would have the effect of preventing any further activity by gas companies in relation to exploration and/or production licenses in the Northern Rivers.

Ron Goodman, Tweed: If elected would you and the party you represent initiate any other legislative or regulatory action that would have the effect of preventing any further activity by gas companies in relation to exploration and/or production licenses in the Northern Rivers.

Trent Gilbert, Clarence: If re-elected would you and the party you represent initiate any other legislative or regulatory action that would have the effect of preventing any further activity by gas companies in relation to exploration and/or production licenses in the Northern Rivers.

GREENS:

Adam Guise, Lismore: If elected, I would continue the good work of the Greens in fighting for a Gasfield Free Northern Rivers. This would involve speaking out in parliament, supporting community campaigns, introducing legislation, moving motions and doing media. My goal would be to have the Northern Rivers declared ‘Gasfield Free’ and have this protection enshrined in legislation in perpetuity.

Andrea Vickers, Tweed: If re-elected would you and the party you represent initiate any other legislative or regulatory action that would have the effect of preventing any further activity by gas companies in relation to exploration and/or production licenses in the Northern Rivers.
The bill discussed above would empower local communities, through their council to prohibit unconventional gas within their local government area. It would also create a network of ‘no-go zones’ for all mining types and would prevent future licences for any mining type being able to be granted over productive agricultural land, significant catchments and waterways, national parks and state forests as well as near residential areas.

The Greens policy relating to all fossil fuels, including unconventional gas, is that no further development can be allowed. The greenhouse gas emissions impact from the mining and burning of fossil fuels makes these activities irresponsible and would not be supported under the Greens Responsible Mining Framework.
The Greens have been publicly campaigning for a phase-out of fossil fuel development for a number of years and have been active in the campaign to oppose all unconventional gas across NSW.

Our legislative response recognises that a number of mining activities can have significant environmental and social impacts and that a framework for managing all types of mining would best serve to ensure communities could have confidence in a system of regulations, free from the corporate and political interference that seems to have underpinned much of the unconventional gas development in NSW to date.

Tamara Smith, Ballina: If    elected    I    will    work    tirelessly    in    the    NSW    Parliament    with    my    fellow    Greens    MP’s    to    have    the    gas exploration    licenses    over    the    Northern    Rivers    cancelled    and    for    a    permanent    ban    on unconventional    gas    mining    in    all    of    NSW.    The    Greens    supported    a    Bill    in    the    NSW    State    parliament  in    2014    that    sought    to    establish    a    clean    mining    regulatory    body    to    oversee    all    mining    operations    in NSW    and    also    want    a    special    Commission    of    Inquiry    into    the    environmental,    social,    governance and    economic    impact    of    this    industry.      The Greens are the    only    party    not    to    accept    poltical    donations    from    coal    and    gas    companies    and have    introduced    legislation    to    clean    up    NSW    politics    by    banning    political    donations    from    coal    and gas    companies,    without    support    from    the    Labor    or    Liberal-National    Parties,    see:  http://www.johnkaye.org.au/greens-charter-of-clean-politics/.   I    have    a    petition    on    my    webpage    to    this    effect,    see:    http://www.tamarasmith.com.au/petition    

 

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