Regulations on coal seam gas activity strengthened
I have consistently made representations about the need to strengthen regulations of CSG operations and welcomed the State Government’s announcement it’s considering the need to better protect our farmlands and waterways. Setting up exclusion zones will mean better environmental protection including more than two million hectares of strategic agricultural land, an Aquifer Interference Policy to protect water resources and surface and two-kilometre subsurface exclusion zones around residential zones and future residential growth areas.
New drought measures announced
I can readily relate to the impact of drought in country areas. I have witnessed firsthand the cost on people’s livelihoods and the far reaching economic impacts. There are new measures to help farmers prepare for and manage the impacts of drought. Despite previous drought policies, the effects of seasonal conditions threaten farm businesses and rural communities constantly and previous policies have not helped farmers prepare for the risks they face. Under this new approach, the NSW Government will focus on supporting farm businesses before and during drought rather than have farmers wait for a district to be ‘drought declared’.
New online alcohol education resource
The most recent survey of 24,403 secondary students aged 12-17 years showed that by the age of 14 years, nine out of 10 Australian adolescents have tried alcohol. Serious binge drinking may result in alcohol poisoning and can lead to coma or death. These are concerning stats. This week I welcomed the announcement of a new online resource the NSW Government developed to help local high school students improve their awareness about alcohol, the law and potential risks and dangers associated with drinking. The resource ‘Out Tonight? Party Right’ uses a range of teaching resources, videos and games to teach young people about the impacts drinking can have on themselves, their friends and on the community. For more info, visit www.partyright.nsw.edu.au
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