Media Release – BSAL Protocol means more costs for Farmers

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Media Release 14.5.2013

A recent review by an Independent Soil Scientist identifies massive costs could be incurred by farmers to “prove” their land is Biophysical Strategic Agricultural Land (BSAL) under the controversial land use Gateway Process. The review was written in response to farmers requests to analyse another round of “tough new regulations” for coal seam gas instigated by the coalition government.

“The latest BSAL interim protocol introduced by the state government in late April and being advocated by the Nationals Leader Andrew Stoner is simply another loophole to allow gas companies to come on to any farmland  in NSW, prime, strategic or otherwise” said Gurley Farmer Penny Blatchford.

“The review shows that in the case study of PEL 470 near Gurley, many, many soil samples need to be taken to prove up BSAL and the cost of sampling and testing would run into the millions of dollars.”

“The community is led to believe that the coalition is protecting farmers and farmland however the gateway process has no power to say no and there is no farming land that is off limits to CSG in NSW”.

The BSAL protocol ignores the important function of grazing land in a healthy catchment and in the economics of the North West of NSW.

“The Nationals need to recognize that 95% of farmers who they claim as supporters don’t want CSG on their land or road and this is being borne out in survey after survey in the North West” said Maules Creek grazier Phil Laird.

“The career politicians in the National Party like Andrew Stoner, are adding further uncertainty, cost and mental stress on landholders in the region. We manage our land for the long term not just for the current generation.”

“It’s pretty simple, we don’t want CSG, it is dangerous to our ground water and soil and there are alternatives sources of gas in Bass Strait. Why risk our food and fibre producing land and the viability of our agricultural businesses for a few short term dollars?”

Review of BSAL Protocol Report from Soil Futures Pty Ltd available:

https://www.maulescreek.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/Review-BSAL-Protocol_Final.pdf