Queensland leader of the Palmer United Party, John Bjelke-Petersen, has called for the tightest possible controls for CSG operators to protect the state’s environmental and economic future.
Mr Bjelke-Petersen said the Palmer United Party could not support Queensland’s CSG industry under the current regulatory framework and would seek a moratorium on future CSG approvals until strict guidelines are met.
“CSG has raised so many concerns for Queenslanders, particularly in regards to water quality, which need to be thoroughly looked into.
“As it stands, the regulatory requirements for CSG in Queensland are nowhere near as stringent as they are in the USA for example,’’ Mr Bjelke-Petersen said.
“The State Government should be doing everything possible to ensure legitimate fears are addressed.
“We need to be 100% certain that CSG operations do not harm water quality and if that imposes additional costs, it is a small price to pay to ensure the future health of our people, the environment and our agriculture industry,’’ he said.
The Palmer United Party calls for more independent and robust research into the CSG industry and its potential hazards in order to make informed, evidence-based decisions.
“Until this independent and robust research is undertaken and reported to the parliament, the Palmer United Party commits to seeking a moratorium on all future approvals for CSG explorations and production,’’ Mr Bjelke-Petersen said.
He said the party would also support greater rights for landowners.
“The Palmer United Party is committed to handing all Queensland agricultural landowners the right to refuse CSG exploration and production on part of their property.
“If there is to be a continuation of the CSG industry in Queensland, people need complete confidence that it is being done responsibly,’’ Mr Bjelke-Petersen said.