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'I won't be pushed around': Resources Minister warns Santos over gas

Sydney Morning Herald - Peter Hannam

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The NSW government has blasted Santos for ramping up public pressure to secure approval for a $3 billion coal seam gas project, with Deputy Premier John Barilaro warning he "won't be pushed around".

Mr Barilaro, who also serves as Resources Minister, said the energy giant was to blame for any delays to the Narrabri Gas Project in north-western NSW.

RECORD SPEND, RECORD DROUGHT, RECORD NEGLECT

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Shooters Fishers and Farmers Party MP Roy Butler has expressed his disappointment in the NSW Government’s budget announcement’s today.

“The Berejiklian Government has celebrated its operating surplus and its record investment in infrastructure across the state and that’s all good - if you forget that western NSW is also part of the state.”

The Barwon electorate is 44% of the state, but hasn’t had a significant school or hospital upgrade funded in this budget.

“All I am seeing in this budget is a continuation of record neglect of western NSW,” Mr Butler said.

Environment Minister floats 'lending' Murray Darling environmental water to farmers

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Australia's key piece of environment legislation, the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act, is due to be reviewed this year.

Ms Ley said it provided "real opportunity to remove some of the green tape around environmental approvals" while maintaining the integrity of the laws.

"If you're an investor and you've got a proposal … it's reasonable that we accept your investment isn't just going to be parked for years, sometimes, until the issues have been worked through," she said.

"I think we just need to give proponents more assurances along the way."

Ms Ley said she did not intend to shut down court challenges to development decisions, however, "it's not being done in a timely enough manner".

Australian Conservation Foundation nature campaign manager Basha Stasak said talk about cutting green tape was "code for making it easier for the loggers to cut down our forests, the diggers to rip up endangered animal habitat and corporate irrigators to suck more water out of our rivers".

NSW Farmers welcome state government drought funding boost

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NSW Farmers has welcomed the state government's commitment to boost its drought assistance, as farmers and communities continue to battle this intense, long-running drought.

On Tuesday, Premier Gladys Berejiklian announced that the upcoming state budget would include an extra $355 million to help farmers and rural communities struggling with the drought

The money is in addition to the almost $400 million announced during the March election campaign, bringing the government's total support bill to $1.8 billion.

The new package would include $170 million in funding to fast track investment in regional infrastructure. 

NSW Farmers president James Jackson said while farmers are bearing the brunt of ongoing dry conditions, the severity and long-term nature of this drought is a having a significant impact on rural towns and communities.

What You Need to Know if you Plan to Buy a Car Before The End of Financial Year

Julian Parsons - Sydney

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Did you know that now is the perfect time to buy a car?

The end of the financial year is right around the corner and it couldn’t be a better time to buy a new car. If you’re after a good bargain, there’s quite a bit to consider when purchasing a car.

With different financing methods and competing sales rates, there are a lot of possibilities to ensure that you get the best deal. And the good news is that both small-time car dealers and big brands are keen to sell cars at hefty discounts before the end of the financial year.

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