NSW Farmers has welcomed the new state regulations banning coal seam gas mining close to residential areas, but says more can be done.
The group, representing farmers' interests in NSW, said more can be done to protect food and fibre producers.
Earlier this week the O'Farrell government approved a two kilometre exclusion zone for new coal seam gas exploration and production activities around residential areas, but NSW Farmers says more can be done.
The 70 farmers which make up NSW Farmers' policy setting council met yesterday (19 February) and said the government should now focus on delivering a consistent approach for the entire agriculture sector as well as urban areas, vineyards and horse studs.
It wants mining of other coals and minerals to be including in the exclusions – not just coal seam gas mining. It also says the policy should apply to projects which haven't yet received approval, and that the buffer should be applied to all areas zoned as residential rather than focusing on population numbers.
NSW Farmers' president, Fiona Simson, said "NSW Farmers has consistently advocated for a measured approach to mining and CSG policy. We believe there are places in this state that are too priceless to put at risk through mining and gas activities.
"The O’Farrell government has reached the same conclusion but hasn’t extended that to our food and fibre producing lands. We think nothing should be more important."