The Greens SA mining and agriculture spokesperson Mark Parnell MLC today called on Premier Jay Weatherill and SA Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Tom Koutsantonis to support a national framework to give landholders and traditional owners the legal right to say no to coal and gas companies coming onto their land.
Minister Koutsantonis will be attending a meeting of COAG Mining and Energy Ministers on Friday (4 December) and the issue of a landholders’ right to say 'no' will be on the agenda after Federal Minister Josh Frydenberg confirmed in October that he would “bring the state ministers together to plan a way forward.”
This follows recent statements from Nationals leader Warren Truss, Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce and Nationals senator Fiona Nash calling for landholders to be able to veto exploration and extraction on their properties.
“The public overwhelmingly support farmers and traditional owners having the right to protect their land and water from gas companies and Friday’s COAG meeting is an opportunity to finally make this a reality,” Greens SA Parliamentary Leader Mark Parnell said.
“Tom Koutsantonis needs to go into the COAG meeting on Friday with a concrete proposal to give landholders and Traditional Owners the legal right to say no to gas mining on their land.
"Gas exploration is highly disruptive to farming activities and risks polluting the land and water. It is time for the SA Government to support legislation to enshrine the right to protect our foodbowl.”
Senator Richard Di Natale, Australian Greens Leader, said COAG must act urgently to give landholders in every state and territory legal rights to say no to coal and gas mining on their land.
"We Greens have legislation in the federal and state Parliaments to give landholders the legal rights they deserve to protect their land, water and climate.
“The Nationals say one thing in regional communities and the media and then do the opposite in Parliament.
“Communities are sick of the empty promises and the Greens are standing with them to demand that COAG finally acts to fix this injustice,” Senator Di Natale said.