Environment groups were recently alarmed by a confidential government draft plan that permitted mining in critical wildlife areas if offset by environmental protection elsewhere.
Given promises to protect environmental assets, in Parliament I asked the Planning and Infrastructure Minister to identify in its strategic land use policy iconic nature areas that sustain threatened species such as the Pilliga Forest and the Gardens of Stone where mining and gas expansion cannot occur.
The Minister committed to protecting all areas of high conservation value, and said the Government will commence strategic plans in the lower Hunter and Liverpool Plains, followed by other areas of "high strategic value".
I asked the previous government for a long term plan that excludes some areas from mining and welcome the new government's work on a strategic mining framework and current moratorium on fracking pending further research.
Information: Click HERE to see my question to Parliament.