Local anti-CSG campaigners have welcomed federal Richmond MP Justine Elliot’s call on NSW state National MPs to support a ban on coal-seam gas (CSG) operations in the northern rivers.
‘This is the least we should be able to expect from our elected representatives, that they actually represent us,’ Michael McNamara from Lock the Gate – Tweed said.
Ms Elliot made the call yesterday to coincide with state planning minister Brad Hazzard’s community meeting in Lismore, an attempt to quell rising community concerns about the controversial industry.
‘It’s time to draw a line in the sand on this important environmental issue,’ Mrs Elliot said.
‘We know the community’s view. It is clear. Our community does not want coal-seam gas mining.
‘I call on the National Party state MPs to tell Minister Hazzard and the O’Farrell government that our community needs a moratorium on CSG on the north coast.
‘The ball is totally in their court: the state government regulates and licenses coal-seam gas mining; and they can stop it dead.
Mr McNamara echoed Ms Elliot’s call for the Nationals MP to stop sitting on the fence over the issue.
‘It is great that Ms Elliot has decided to support her constituents, and we hope that her local state counterparts Thomas George and Geoff Provest follow suit.’
But he disputed her view that it was totally a state matter.
‘Elements of the federal government, of which she is part, such as resources minister Simon Ferguson, are strong advocates of the CSG industry.
‘She needs to challenge the distorted world view promoted by Mr Ferguson,’ he said.
Mrs Elliot added that that ‘as a local resident and a mother, I share the community’s deep concerns about the impact of CSG in our area and I want action on this issue’.