The Grafton Loop of the Knitting Nannas Against Gas has major concerns about the NSW Gas Plan which the Government is assuring us will protect the community from the many ill-effects of gas-mining.
The concerns elaborated by the NSW Chief Scientist and Engineer in her report have not been properly addressed - nor has the Government implemented some of her most important recommendations. We mention just two as examples:
- comprehensive environmental monitoring, including baseline monitoring, is needed with data to be held in a publicly accessible data repository (Recommendation 10)
- further research into the fate and transport of chemicals and their biological reactions (Recommendation 12)
The Chief Scientist's Report also referred to the many health risks at all stages of CSG extraction and listed adverse health outcomes - respiratory, genitourinary and digestive diseases, skin diseases, some cancers, hormonal disruption, and fertility and reproductive effects. Just how does the Government propose to deal with these very serious impacts of gas-mining? We Nannas are particularly concerned with the likely health impacts on our children and grandchildren.
Since the Plan's release we have seen a number of publicly-funded advertisements attempting to "sell" the plan to voters. Both the advertisements and the spin produced by the Government and various Ministers have been totally unconvincing.
Local MPs had the opportunity to stand up for their constituents when the Government came out with this Plan. Local MPs could have stood up to the Government and said, "No gas-mining in my electorate." The Nannas think it is shameful that MPs who are members of political parties toe the political line rather than serve the interests of their electorates. In our view it is no wonder that many electors feel as they do about politicians and the major political parties.
If the Baird Government retains government after March 28th we fully expect it to encourage gas-mining - including fracking - throughout the Northern Rivers. Nothing it has done in the past - including its ineffective Gas Plan - gives us any confidence it will be otherwise.
The Nannas assure you that they will, along with many other citizens concerned for the future of our area, continue to oppose this invasive and toxic industry.