Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Putty Valley in shock at broken election promise

The NSW Government's draft Regional Strategic Land Use Plan for the Upper Hunter does not protect high conservation areas or sensitive areas.

The Putty Valley: ‘a place of indescribable beauty, a place where heaven meets earth’.

That is how, in a speech to the NSW Parliament, Luke Foley MLC, NSW Leader of the Opposition in the Legislative Council and Shadow Minister for the Environment recently described the area.*

He was referring to land completely surrounded by the Wollemi and Yengo National Parks, part of the World Heritage Greater Blue Mountains National Park.

The Government has just mapped this land as:

1. Open-cut and/or underground coal resource potential
2. High and moderate coal seam gas potential**

Right at the heart of a World Heritage listed area.

This is the Government that, before last year’s election, promised they would protect high value conservation lands, and that mining and coal seam gas extraction should not occur in sensitive areas.

Luke Foley says that ‘the Putty Valley is a perfect example of a sensitive area that should exclude mining and extractive industries, in order to protect its significant environmental values.’

Local resident Kathy McKenzie agrees, and further points out that the area should not even be included in the Upper Hunter Plan.

‘Our water flows into the Hawkesbury not into the Hunter,’ said Kathy, ‘and if mining did occur, wastewater would be transported to Windsor for treatment.  Mining will impact on Hawkesbury roads and rivers.  The Plan clearly fails to take this into account.’
The public have until May 3 to make submissions to the Government.

The NSW Parliament is to debate the Moratorium Bill on CSG in the morning of March 15. A rally will be held outside NSW Parliament House at 4pm. The CSG petition will be debated inside parliament at 4.30pm.  Kathy is urging all those who are concerned to attend and show politicians they care about this important issue.

*Luke Foley speech
**Draft Strategic Land Use Plan for the Upper Hunter

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