The Greens NSW mining spokesperson Jeremy Buckingham condemned the government’s renewal of AGL’s Petroleum Exploration Licence (PEL 285) over the Gloucester Valley, saying it was the start of fracking in NSW again and that local residents were being given less protection than those in Western Sydney.
Coal seam gas activity is banned within 2km of urban areas, however AGL has been given permission to frack within a few hundred metres of houses at the outskirts of the town of Gloucester.
“This is a clear signal that the Liberal and National parties are pro-fracking and pro-coal seam gas,” said Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham.
“This is a dark day for NSW with the Baird government giving the green light to fracking once again, including within a few hundred metres of people’s homes in Gloucester, while people in Western Suburbs enjoy a 2 kilometre buffer zone.
“The community is overwhelmingly opposed, the scientists have warned of contamination of groundwater and the Manning River, and there is no clear plan to dispose of waste products.
“The local community will blockade fracking in the Gloucester Valley, just as they resisted at Bentley in the Northern Rivers and elsewhere,” he said.
(6/8/14 Jeremy Buckingham, MP)