Scores of farmers and townspeople gathered on a rural property in Western NSW to talk with NSW Labor Leader Michael Daley about the critical issues of water and coal seam gas.
As part of his ‘Schools and Hospitals before Stadiums’ tour, Mr Daley visited the town of Coonamble where the proposed Narrabri gas project and the impact it could have on surrounding agricultural land are key issues.
Mr Daley was joined by a delegation of Labor MPs to hear from Coonamble locals about their concerns with impacts of coal seam gas on the Great Artesian Basin and rich agricultural land.
Labor went to the 2015 election with a policy to oppose the Narrabri gas project. This was part of NSW Labor’s plan for a Statewide moratorium framework, underpinned by a range of permanent “no go” areas where CSG should never be permitted, including core water catchments.
The local community in Coonamble and surrounds knows that the Nationals have stopped listening. In recent months Labor MPs have visited the area and promised to come back with the Leader of the Opposition so he can hear directly the concerns of farmers and community members.
Mr Daley reassured the locals in Coonamble that he wanted to hear their views.
He also confirmed Labor’s position that under a Daley Labor Government the Narrabri gas project would not proceed due to the risks it poses to local land and water, including the Great Artesian Basin.
Mr Daley said, “For the last four years, Labor has fought to protect our precious land and water and the jobs and communities they support from the risks of CSG, including the Great Artesian Basin, inside the Parliament and out in the community. I’m here today to tell you that our commitment remains unchanged.”
The Labor delegation included Deputy Leader and Shadow Minister for the Environment, Penny Sharpe, Labor Leader in the Legislative Council and Shadow Minister for Energy and Climate Change, Industry and Resources, Adam Searle and Mick Veitch, Shadow Minister Primary Industries, Western NSW and Lands.
Mr Daley said that while the Liberals and Nationals were spending $2.2 billion on Sydney stadiums, Labor was focused on delivering for regional communities through NSW Labor’s Local Jobs First policy of investing more of the state’s $15 billion spending on buying goods and services inside NSW and the unprecedented expansion of the renewable energy industry.
Both policies will create thousands of jobs in the regions.