‘Take care of the people of the Barwon electorate’

I HAVE asked Kevin Humphries if he will be making any public comment like so many have this past week.

The definition of leader, according to the Collins dictionary is: A person who rules, guides or inspires others. 

Andrew Stoner has no characteristics of a leader. His attitude is arrogant and ignorant and he does not rule fairly, guide or inspire. 

A leader should unite people rather than divide communities and these comments, and Kevin Humphries’ lack of a response, continue to place The Nationals in disrepute. 

These are the thoughts I have expressed to Kevin Humphries and the questions I have asked him on coal seam gas exploration and production in NSW.

If people in Sydney and towns have the right to feel safe in their own homes as the Minister for Planning Brad Hazzard told media early this week, I don’t understand why all the communites and families across rural NSW do not have the same basic democratic right.

If one community is at risk, if one industry is at risk, does that not mean any community or existing industry may be placed at risk?

Why should a family in Campbelltown feel safe in their own home but not a family living in rural NSW? And families at Bellata, Gurley, Croppa Creek, Crooble, Bullarah, Mallawa, Rowena, North Star, Terry Hie Hie? What does Mr Humphries have to say to these families and communities? Collateral damage?

How will he explain the lack of consideration to all communities taken by the NSW government cabinet when visiting the Mallawa, Talmoi and Moree races or when walking down Balo St, Moree?

I encourage Mr Humphries to fight for all families in the Barwon electorate – give every woman, man and child the right to feel safe in their own homes. Coal seam gas exploration and production must at the very least be 2000 metres from all homes and gardens.

What happened to the recommended four-kilometre buffer The Nationals lodged in their original submission?

The policy should protect all strategic agricultural land with two-kilometre buffers. This is so important to the health, environment and economy of the Barwon electorate and its shires.

Map and protect critical industry clusters with two kilometre buffers, because these to are important to the health, environment and economy of the Barwon electorate and its shires.

Under the Petroleum (Onshore) Act NSW 1991 it is the addition of one zero – extending the buffer from 200 metres to 2000 metres.

Although mother nature does not understand such boundaries within aquifers, water catchments and between soil types, this would be a positive start to bringing balance back and certainty to land use, existing agricultural industries, the environment and the health of the communities of NSW.

The gateway process has many flaws. It must be amended and start before any exploration commences. 

Core hole drilling, fracking, flaring, pilot production, coal seam gas gathering and pipeline infrastructure, for example, are all allowed under exploration. And these are based only on desktop studies written by the miners.

Misleading and false information is the norm. Freedom of Information searches have proven this. Independent reviews and accountability of risk must be compulsory. Policies and procedures are non-existent or failing the community’s expectations.

Moratoriums must be placed on all renewals of existing exploration licences until the buffers and protections are in place for agricultural land of strategic value, critical industry clusters are mapped and the gateway process is amended to begin before any exploration or commitments are made to miners.

The decisions Mr Humphries and his colleagues make today will be the legacy of the NSW and Australian community forever. 

The precautionary principle is paramount.

I implore Mr Humphries to take care of the people of the Barwon electorate and to honour the promise he made to our community when standing for election. 

We are worth it. Our precious health, wellbeing, communities, agriculture and environment depend on him.

Mr Humphries should stand up and not compromise under any circumstances for all rural families in the Barwon electorate and NSW.

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