14 March 2020
During Budget Estimates hearings today, the NSW Labor Opposition revealed that Planning Minister Rob Stokes has directed the IPC to make a determination on the Narrabri gas project within 12 weeks of receiving the Department’s assessment, which is due to be completed within a month.
Minister Stokes was in such a rush to get this project approved, that he sent off the directive to the IPC without his Department having even finished their consultation or reporting.
A recent Upper House Committee found that after the Liberals and Nationals sat on the Chief Scientist’s recommendations regarding coal seam gas for five years, only 2 of the 16 recommendations had been fully implemented, while the Liberals and Nationals had not even attempted to implement half of the report’s recommendations
In a shocking act of disregard for due process, the Berejiklian Government has refused to accept that the Berejiklian Government should at least respond to the Committee’s report before the IPC makes its final determination.
This is despite the Minister for Energy and Environment Matt Kean’s insistence that all of the recommendations of the Chief Scientist on coal seam gas must be delivered in full before coal seam gas is given any green light in NSW.
Instead, Mr Stokes’s orders to the IPC mean that the IPC will now be forced to make a final determination on the Narrabri project before all the protections recommended by the Chief Scientist to protect land and water are put in place.
“The Chief Scientist laid out a clear path to determine whether CSG can be safely developed in NSW. It is very disappointing that the Liberals and Nationals have done almost nothing to deliver these recommendations over the last five years” — Adam Searle MLC, Labor Leader in the Legislative Council and Shadow Minister for Climate Change and Energy