Thursday, January 20, 2011

Land use for human need not corporate profits!


Friday January 21, 2011 - Paola Harvey, Socialist Alliance candidate for Keira, has responded to yesterday's revelation that the Coalition let the mining industry write parts of its regional land use policy.

'In the lead up to the election Barry O'Farrell has tried to label himself a friend of democracy and the environment. Revelations that parts of the Coalition's regional land use policy has been written by the mining industry show that neither is the case', she said.

'Under Labor we saw legislation changed to allow petroleum and gas exploration in state conservation and drinking water catchment areas, the introduction of Part 3A, and an enormous expansion of mining, including Coal Seam Gas. The fact that 70% of NSW is now under mineral and petroleum title or application is testament to this.

'It is clear that both Labor and Liberal are hell bent on the further expansion of mining. And this is regardless of community need, health, water or environmental concerns.

'It begs many questions: What is O'Farrell going to replace Part 3A with? Is the promise to protect Dharawal just a token gesture to expand mining elsewhere?

'The lack of government regulation has been a strong criticism in the campaign against Coal Seam Gas mining. Yet now we hear that the Coalition's stance is to make an unacceptable situation worse: removing commitments to toughen regulatory compliance. An immediate moratorium on CSG is needed.

'We need community wide discussions to determine land use, not secret deals with corporate polluters.

'The short term profits of mining companies cannot be put ahead of the reality that humans need food, clean water and air.

'Sustainability also means jobs. We need to create jobs in alternative and necessary industries -- such as wind and solar power -- to ensure a safe environment,' Harvey concluded.

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