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Don’t leave it to Beavis on CSG

How ironic it is that the Nationals candidate is beating his chest talking about ‘challenging Labor about its CSG plans’. What’s worse is the Nationals’ TV commercial boasting about ‘proven results on CSG’.

As someone who has spent countless hours at meetings, protests and researching the devastating impacts of CSG this bravado and political ‘posturing’ makes me sick, as I’m sure it does the vast majority of the community who have made it clear that No means No.

I travelled to the gasfields of SE Queensland about two years ago as part of a northern rivers delegation to see for myself first hand the impacts of CSG and to speak with farmers who have had this industry forced upon them. The towns of Tara and Chinchilla have been totally consumed by this industry. People are getting sick and the creeks and rivers are bubbling methane. The place has been irreversibly ruined by this industry.

Mr Beavis is right about one thing, the Nationals do have ‘proven results on CSG’.

  1. They have voted against a moratorium on this industry every time this issue has been debated in the NSW Parliament.
  2. They re-issued Dart Energy’s exploration license PEL 445 in November last year which covers large areas of the northern rivers.
  3. They recently released the ‘NSW Gas Plan’, which provides the framework for CSG operations throughout NSW, including the northern rivers.
  4. Lismore MP Thomas George has been actively promoting Metgasco in Parliament even though his son is an employee (isn’t that a conflict of interest?)
  5. They have ignored the NSW Farmers Federation’s call for a ban on CSG in agricultural areas.
  6. Nationals MP, Don Page, despite being minister for the north coast has not once spoke out about this industry and has refused to meet anyone to discuss CSG.
  7. The Nationals have two previous leaders in Mark Vaile and John Anderson who are now on the payroll of Whitehaven coal (recently approved mega-coalmine in the middle of the Liverpool Plains) and Eastern Star Gas (CSG ambitions in the northern rivers – Clarence and Richmond valleys). The revolving door is wide open due to their influence on current National Party MP’s.

A vote for the Nationals is a vote for CSG. If they are re-elected in Ballina and Lismore, Mike ‘You bet I am’ Baird will approve production licenses in the northern rivers and we will be back to square one.

Thanks but no thanks Kris Beavis.

Jeff Johnson, independent candidate for Ballina


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