Australian Greens leader Bob Brown has accused Liberal and Labor senators of standing in the way of the party’s proposed senate enquiry into the coal seam gas (CSG) industry.
He also said senators from the National party split with their coalition partners and refused to vote.
"Australia’s tired old political parties blocked a move by the Greens for a stand-alone Senate inquiry into the coal seam gas industry," Brown said in a statement.
"The prospect of coal seam gas mines across the country – from the Kimberley to Queensland to Tasmania, encroaching on Sydney and broader NSW, as well as in South Australia – is truly appalling.".
"There is a new urgency to assess the health impacts of the toxic materials used in the fracking process."
The dangers of hydraulic fracturing, otherwise known as fracking is used to retrieve the coal seam gas deposits, and has faced increasing opposition, particularly in Queensland where much of the CSG projects are located and landowners have to deal with up to 500 wells being placed on their properties, near homes and feed lots.
On Wednesday a last-minute inclusion of CSG in the terms of reference for the inquiry into the management of the Murray Darling Basin, but the Greens leader said it was not good enough.
The Environment and Communications References Committee’s proposed inquiry would have examined the social, environmental, health, economic and legal impacts of coal seam gas, as well as food security, viability of farms with CSG mines and contamination of underground water sources and soils.
Brown said an inquiry would also establish the legal rights of property owners fighting against gas companies.
"It is inadequate for coal seam gas mines, a threat to farmers in NSW and Queensland in particular, to be an add-on to any other inquiry," Senator Brown said.
Image: The Herald Sun