APPEA slams Lock the Gate submission as “grossly inaccurate”

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The APPEA has again slammed Lock the Gate as providing false and misleading information about coal seam gas to the Government and public.

Last month Lock the Gate, an outspoken national lobby group opposed to CSG, admitted aspects of its submission to state and federal CSG inquiries may have been misleading.

Now the group is facing fresh allegations regarding its submission to the Federal Senate inquiry into the management of the Murray Darling Basin.

The APPEA this week labelled Lock the Gate’s submission as containing “inaccuracies and misrepresentations”.

But in a letter to the inquiry provided to Australian Mining Lock the Gate hit back at the APPEA’s allegations.

The APPEA claims Lock the Gate president Drew Hutton’s suggestion the CSG industry is exempt from the provisions of many pieces of legislation is incorrect.

“The CSG industry is subject to the main State and Commonwealth environmental legislation – the Queensland Environmental Protection Act 1994 and the Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Act 1999,” it said in a statement.

But Hutton said this criticism was “a quibble over what constitutes as ‘many’”.

“There certainly are many provisions from which it is exempt or partially exempt,” he said.

Hutton listed section 25 of the NSW Native Vegetation Act 2003, as well as 5 other provisions as examples.

“Rather than being a refutation of my statement that the CSG industry is not subject to the Commonwealth Water Act 2000, APPEA’s comment simply points out that my original statement is correct,” he said.

The APPEA also said Hutton’s claim “no Federal law or regulation specifically addresses the CSG mining industry” was misleading.

“Mr Hutton does not mention the EPBC Act which deals at length with impacts of the industry through the assessment of specific projects and impacts,” it said.

The APPEA said the act dealt with “any and all industries” and the activities they undertook.

But Hutton said he stood by his original claim.

“It is absolutely correct to say that ‘no Federal law or regulation specifically addresses the CSG mining industry’,” he said.

The APPEA listed further examples of Hutton’s inaccuracies on its website, some it labelled “grossly inaccurate and misleading”.

But in his follow-up letter Hutton said some of the APPEA’s complaints took out of context parts of Lock the Gate’s submission.

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