LETTERS TO THE EDITOR, Feb 23: Locked on Policy

Locked on policy

HOT on the heels of the failed 'Gateway' policy, the Nationals' new policy position on coal seam gas has ignited tension within the community.

It is a clear mandate for the expansion of coal seam gas and hydraulic fracturing across existing licence areas.

There are no reassurances that human health is protected. There are no safeguards to ensure that people living in the licence areas will not be exposed to harmful chemicals with drilling still allowed only 200 metres from rural residences without full baseline health screening.

There is nothing in the plan that benefits landholders or allows them to prevent forced access onto their land by gas companies.

There are no new measures to protect biodiversity or our water catchments, and the impacts of airborne pollutants have not been taken into consideration.

All of the recommendations in the chief scientists' report to regulate this industry have not been fully adopted.

Is monetary compensation really going to be adequate when land is made unproductive and human health is affected?

The government has been ignoring the public's concerns in favour of rolling out an industry that is proven to have contaminated groundwater in other countries as well as here in Australia and there seems to be no framework for reasoned scientific debate, just a gas plan that forges ahead with CSG and fails to deliver on the fundamental concerns of rural landholders.

With the gas in the Northern Rivers slated for the export market this is not an industry that we want or need here.

It will indeed create a price hike for Sydney gas consumers as they will have to pay world parity prices and will bring about the demise of the manufacturing industry in this country.

Queenslanders are currently paying about four times as much as Victorians for power and Victoria is one of the leading renewable energy states.

There a rapid uptake in renewable energy technology worldwide and it looks as though gas infrastructure and projects may become stranded assets.

The gas plan is simply another half-baked policy from the government and the gas companies being sold to us by glossy taxpayer-funded advertisements and it is woefully inadequate.

Our gates remain locked.

Kylie Kelly, Lanitza


Bottled anger

IGA wants to come to town bringing with it another bottle shop.

So after the north coast finished third in the state for the number of RBT bookings, do you think that the "Little Town" needs another bottle shop?

B.F.Apps, Townsend


Flood of complaint

I WRITE this letter Friday evening February 20, after reading the DEX item in today's press: "Schools closing - Bureau of Meteorology advised yesterday that there is more than a 70% chance that the Clarence Valley will flood on Friday with a 20% chance that it will incur major flooding".

Anybody who has lived on the Clarence for more than a day or two knows that for flooding to occur on Friday we would need very heavy rain on Tuesday/Wednesday over our catchment.

Reports such as this do little for locals to have faith in the bureau forecasts.

Bill Dougherty, Grafton

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