Current safeguards around CSG extraction are inadequate, says Jennifer Elliott — and contamination of drinking and irrigation water has already occurred in NSW and Queensland.
Contaminated drinking water has occurred in both Tara and in Narrabri in NSW.
“It is time to recognize that those who pollute or destroy the natural environment are not just committing a crime against nature, but are violating human rights as well”.
Page 29 of the main body of the document also contains the following, regarding Governmental obligations:
‘Duty to protect: regulating third parties
‘A government is not the only actor that can endanger or restrict the right to water. Individuals and corporations have the potential to interfere with a person’s or community’s water supply……The duty to protect requires that governments should diligently take all the necessary feasible steps to prevent others from interfering with the right to water. This will usually require a strong regulatory regime that is consistent with other human rights.’
These are strong words. It could be concluded from what is written above that both the NSW Government and the holders of Petroleum Exploration Licences in this State are morally and ethically – though perhaps not legally – in breach of the Standards recommended by the World Health Organization. Would a NSW Bill of Rights, consistent with World Health Organization human rights Standards satisfy our needs as a community State, on this and other human rights issues? Would enactment come simply too late to save our most precious resource?
We can ponder these questions and decide what action we need to take. Perhaps we need to do this before our water and land and all organisms living in and upon it, including ourselves, are so polluted and toxic that there is no turning back.
The Lock the Gate Alliance, a movement of concerned citizens from all walks of life, is having a positive impact but needs your help. See what is already happening in the Northern Rivers in the video below.
This is not someone else’s problem. The some of us are not enough to stop this toxic industry, but the sum of us has all the power to succeed.
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