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Thursday, 27 March 2014
Page: 3456

Dr GILLESPIE (Lyne) (10:07): I rise to table two petitions that have been through the petitions committee. The first one is in order with the committee. It is from citizens in the Lyne electorate who are concerned about coal seam gas mining. And there are many other citizens around the nation who have affixed their name to this petition. They are concerned about the effects of unconventional gas mining on water quality, farmlands, the environment, the community, residents' health, property values and tourism. They are also concerned about greenhouse emissions from large-scale methane leakage associated with coal seam gas and other unconventional gas mining. They are concerned about the evidence that coal seam gas fracking in tide sands, shale and other gas mining might lower the freshwater table. They are calling for an immediate moratorium on these processes. I seek leave to table the petition.

Leave granted.

The petition read as follows—

To the Honourable The Speaker and Members of the House of Representatives

This Petition of citizens of Australia draws to the attention of the House:

present and potential negative impacts of the Coal Seam Gas Mining (CSG) Industry, fracking, tight sands, shale and all other unconventional forms of gas mining on water quality, farm lands, the environment, communities, residents' health, property values and tourism;

that CSG, fracking, tight sands, shale and all other unconventional gas mining produce green house gas emissions - particularly from large scale methane leakage - such that these industries have a global warming impact that is as bad as if not worse than coal, over a twenty year period;

that there is evidence that CSG, fracking, tight sands, shale and all other unconventional gas mining lower the fresh water table.

We therefore ask the House to:

declare an immediate moratorium on all CSG, fracking, tight sands, shale and all other unconventional gas mining activities and licences within the boundaries of Australia and its Territorial Seas;

declare Australia and its Territorial Seas to be a 'CSG, fracking, tight sands, shale and all other unconventional gas mining free zone' and thereafter off limits to these industries.

from 7,488 citizens

Petition received.

Dr GILLESPIE: The second petition is from constituents of the Lyne electorate around Old Bar Beach, which is at the mouth of the Manning River. They are concerned about the coastal erosion issue that is threatening houses, schools and public lands and roads. They are requesting that the state and federal governments address this by the use of artificial sand reefs, which break the strength of the waves that cause the erosion. These reefs are not seen under the waves. They colonise with coral and become a reserve for fisheries. They can, if positioned in the right way—parallel to the coast—create a shadow to protect the sands from being eroded on the coastline. They present a very cost-effective way to address a widespread problem across all of Australia, not just the Lyne electorate. Up and down the east coast of Australia there are many hot spots with coastal erosion, and it is a very cost-effective manner compared with all the other procedures. It is not a magic bullet. It has been employed for years on the Gold Coast, where it protected vast swathes of very expensive real estate. And it has the potential for use in the armamentarium of state and local governments, who are the responsible authorities.

I will table this petition as a document, because it is deemed out of order. These two issues are vitally important to a lot of people in the electorate and around the nation. I present it to the parliament. The petition will go to the responsible minister.