NSW Premier Barry O'Farrell has effectively shut people out of the democratic process by fast-tracking AGL's application to mine coal seam gas (CSG) across a wide area of suburban Sydney and transferring the project to new legislation which wipes out any right of appeal, according to Discalced Carmelite Friar, Father Greg Burke OCD, reports the Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney.
"Barry O'Farrell has gone back on everything he promised before last year's election, including his pledge to include people in the planning process. Instead he has cut them out completely," says Fr Burke, spokesman on public issues for the Discalced Carmelite Friars of Mt Carmel Priory and the Mt Carmel Retreat Centre at Varrowville in Sydney's Scenic Hills.
Fr Greg Burke accuses Barry O'Farrell of breaking election promises and riding slipshod over democracy
"We might live in a democracy but in the NSW Government's desperation to increase state revenue people's voices and concerns have been over-ridden and ignored."
Last week in a surprise move, the Government announced the application by AGL to drill 66 CSG wells across the environmentally-protected Scenic Hills behind Camden and Campbelltown in Sydney's south west would be assessed under "state significant development" planning rules.
FULL STORY Premier accused of putting gas revenue ahead of people (C-Mail)