Social license discussion

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: THE biggest protest in the history of the SE expressed our displeasure at the State Government sell-off of our forestry harvesting rights.

In light of that outcome, we should be looking for the reward of the forestry sell-off.

We should also be looking at the financial pressure placed on the Meningie, Keith, Penola and Millicent Hospitals.

We should look for the infrastructure upgrades, for tourism promotion, for anything to determine what value our political masters in Adelaide give to our social licence; that is, the support of the community before a mining licence is issued for unconventional gas development.

How has our social licence been viewed in the past? Mitch Williams asserts that the opinion of the community is paramount.

Opposition Minister for Resources Mr Hamilton-Smith was in Mount Gambier on February 27 assuring residents there will be no unconventional gas mining until a proposed inquiry takes place.

On March 4 in Adelaide, he gave "in principle" support to the Labor promise of a five year deferment of royalties as part of a suite of policies to encourage mining companies to undertake unconventional gas development.

Legislation has recently been passed to allow unconventional mining to proceed as "low impact", bypassing the requirement for community consultation.

The determined and bipartisan intention for unconventional gas development by our political masters in Adelaide could not be more at odds with the posturing of our local representatives and the concern of our citizens.

An inquiry and our social licence, what value do they have?

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