Both the Government and the Coalition have chosen to stay in the dark about the real impacts of coal seam gas mining in Australia, by today voting down the Greens' proposal for the first nation-wide coal seam gas Senate inquiry.
The refusal to support widespread community concern about the impacts of CSG after today's public revelations that Bob Katter, now a vocal opponent of coal seam gas, in fact vetoed giving farmers any right to say no to mining on their land when he was Queensland Mines Minister in 1989.
"This inquiry would have looked at the big picture of coal seam gas across Australia: what CSG mining is doing to our communities, our health, our economy and our coasts, as well as our land and environment," Greens' mining spokesperson Senator Larissa Waters said.
"What does it say about the old parties that they don't want to know? Don't they want the facts on the true climate impacts of CSG? Or the real picture of what's happening in Gladstone harbour for coal seam gas exports?
"While Bob Katter and his party have said they support farmers in their fight against CSG, only the Greens have taken any action on CSG in the Federal Parliament - and it was Katter himself who refused to give back farmers' rights against mining when he had the chance.
"Likewise Senator Barnaby Joyce today again demonstrated that the Nationals have sold out the bush on CSG, and even tried to gild the lily by making out that this inquiry was repetitive of the last CSG inquiry. Any cursory read of the terms of reference shows it is nation-wide and would include coastal impacts which the last inquiry did not consider.
"The Government has rushed blindly ahead with the new fossil fuel industry, even though the CSIRO and the National Water Commission have both said that we don't yet know the long-term impacts of coal seam gas on groundwater resources.
"The Government and Coalition are also trying to ignore the outpouring of community concern about CSG - a Newspoll showed 67 per cent of Queenslanders don't support coal seam gas, echoing a similar poll last year that 68 per cent Australians want to press pause on CSG until it's been proven safe.
"The only choice in the Queensland election is Green for anyone who wants to slow down this runaway industry, given that the old parties have chosen to support the fossil fuel giants over Australian communities and Bob Katter has been revealed as all talk and no action."
Audio of Sen. Waters' doorstop in Canberra.