Confusion remains around the formation of the Stop CSG Party and whether it made its Monday deadline to register 500 members with the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC).
As of Sunday night, the fledgling party, still less than one week old, had only 200 registered members and needed another 300 to get over the line, piquing the interest of social media proponents.
Ahri Tallon, a 21-year-old former Lismore school student who founded the Northern Rivers Youth Environmental Society and has since made a name for himself nationally as an environmental advocate, told Echonetdaily then that the party registration attempt was legitimate and they hoped to help make coal seam gas an election issue.
He said the Stop CSG Party was being formed by a group of regional, rural and metropolitan Australians concerned about the impacts of CSG and unconventional gas development and believed people would vote specifically for a party with a No CSG platform.
The issue has since caused quite a stir on Facebook where CSG opponents have been crying out for more information, even questioning the party’s legitimacy and its strategy, fearing the move might split the Green vote.
Mr Tallon posted on Facebook on Wednesday that the party had made the deadline, and in fact had received more than 1,000 registrations, and now needed to form an executive in order to proceed with the organisation of candidates.
Despite repeated attempts to contact Mr Tallon and party organisers, they have yet to respond and the questions remain.
Jim Moylan from the HEMP Party knows only too well the perils and pitfalls of meeting AEC criteria, having missed out on party registration at the last two federal elections based on what he described as technicalities.
He told Echonetdaily the AEC had tightened eligibility criteria over the past few years to the point where his party had threatened to get 500 of their members to physically front-up to the AEC’s Canberra office before its registration was successful.
He said he was watching the Stop CSG Party story with interest but doubted the attempt could succeed at such short notice.
He added that the HEMP Party was ready to field candidates at the September poll and was keen to capitalise on the media interest generated recently by medical cannabis.