13th August 2015

    Second reading speech.


    The Hon. MARK PEARSON [11.53 a.m.]: The Animal Justice Party supports this responsible and important bill, the Petroleum (Onshore) Amendment (Prohibit Coal Seam Gas) Bill 2015. I bring to the attention of the House the fact that every sitting day one of the first statements made by the President is that we have a positive and complete duty to the welfare of the people and children of this State and of Australia. It is time for us to turn our mind to turning our back on the whole industry of petroleum and fossil fuels, because the evidence is overwhelming that this is a deleterious, dangerous and harmful industry. We must turn away from it and look to alternatives in order to ensure the welfare of our people and our children.

    One hastily stitched together report by one scientist is not a robust, rigorous or responsible analysis of an industry’s potentially catastrophic pillaging of the land and the water we all share. As Reverend the Hon. Fred Nile indicated, the best measures are not numerous scientific reports—if there were any—but to go and look at where this type of activity has been occurring. With great respect to Reverend the Hon. Fred Nile, he went and looked at what has been happening in areas in Queensland and elsewhere. What we are witnessing is alarming and frightening.

    The Animal Justice Party has analysed all aspects of this industry. The industry demonstrates utter disregard for the health of citizens, including farmers and their children; and the environment, including the health and integrity of our land and water. Looking at the issue from the stance of the Animal Justice Party, there are studies by veterinarians that say very clearly that farm animals that graze on land under which this activity is occurring are already suffering from deleterious respiratory and alimentary problems. There are also impacts on wildlife living in the area.

    This sinister and deceptive form of mining noxiously creeps in under the very land that the people of New South Wales legitimately possess, enjoy, flourish on and derive from. It strikes at a fundamental right of all owners of land, be they farmers, wildlife carers, Indigenous people or many others. It strikes at the right to enjoy, be nourished by and be free from harm from our land and water. Moreover it strikes at our overwhelming, positive responsibility to ensure a safe and protected environment, free from noxious, harmful, poisonous substances that would deleteriously affect our children, the wild animals that enjoy these lands, and the animals that we introduce and rear on these lands, now and in the future.

    The coal seam gas industry must be brought to an immediate halt in New South Wales. The Animal Justice Party supports this very important bill, which goes directly to ensure—and “ensure” is the correct and important word—the welfare and wellbeing of the people, including our children; the animals; and the environment of this land. The Animal Justice Party commends this bill to the House.

    Read the full debate here.

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