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NSW Greens condemns CSG approvals

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SYDNEY, Feb 11 AAP

February 11 2013, 7:51PM

Federal Labor's approval of coal seam gas projects shows it is turning its back on the NSW environment, the NSW Greens say.

Greens MP and environment spokesperson Cate Faehrmann said it was a "black day" for the NSW environment.

"Labor has given in to the might of the coal industry and sold out communities and the environment across this state," Ms Faehrmann said.

"These approvals will literally change the face of the township of Gloucester as well as the small community of Maules Creek near Narrabri in the state's northwest.

"The Maules Creek and Boggabri proposals were referred to the Federal environment minister Tony Burke because they are going to wipe out critically endangered forest which is home to many threatened species."

Whitehaven Coal has been granted conditional approval from the federal government to proceed with its controversial Maules Creek open-cut mine project in northeast NSW.

Environment Minister Tony Burke on Monday gave the green light to the Maules Creek and nearby Boggabri mine proposals, subject to strict conditions.

Conditional approval was also granted to a coal seam methane gas project at Gloucester owned by AGL Energy.