Focus on 'dirty industry' as Buckingham talks about coal seam gas threat

CSG-FREE: Greens MLC Jeremy Buckingham will address ECCO on Wednesday. Photo supplied
CSG-FREE: Greens MLC Jeremy Buckingham will address ECCO on Wednesday. Photo supplied

COMMUNITIES have a responsibility to stand up to coal seam gas mining in order to defend their water supply, according to the Greens’ Jeremy Buckingham.

The state upper house member and former Orange councillor will address the Environmentally Concerned Citizens of Orange (ECCO) on Wednesday night.

With active petroleum exploration licences in Lithgow, Mudgee, Dubbo and parts of the Blue Mountains, Mr Buckingham praised Orange City Council and Centroc for passing motions to stay CSG-free.

“[The Greens] think it’s a dirty industry,” he said.

While Orange does not have any active petroleum exploration licences, he said CSG had impacts across council boundaries and the matter was a concern for the region. 

“It’s a major threat to groundwater and surface water,” he said.

“Mudgee and Orange are famous for their food, wine and tourism and an industrialised landscape does not go with the region.” 

Mr Buckingham will also talk about the importance of keeping other forms of mining sustainable for the environment and the agricultural industry and argued food should take precedence in certain areas.

“We’re not opposed to mining, just not at any cost,” he said.

“The key thing is we want to work with farmers and miners. We recognise we need both and we need to put some meat on the bone as far as sustainability.”

He said, despite the long-term legacy posed by its storage dams, Newcrest’s Cadia Valley Operations was one of the better examples.

“They’ve set a pretty good standard in dealing with the environment. They operate in a far better way than other mines in Australia and the world,” he said.

The ECCO meeting will be held at the Environmental Learning Facility at Orange Showground on Wednesday from 7.30pm.