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Byron Shire
May 22, 2024

CSG a ‘social licence’?

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The letters deadline for The Echo is noon Friday. Letters longer than 200 words may be cut. The publication of letters is at the discretion of the letters editor.

Election results from a CSG mandate perspective and the so called required ‘social licence’ to harvest CSG was very interesting.

The 9 September APPEA media release: ‘Australian voters reject anti-gas campaigners’ stated, ‘The anti-gas campaigns of The Greens and the Katter Australia Party have seen them both lose significant support, with Australians strongly rejecting their anti-jobs and anti-investment policies.’

Indeed the people of Page have spoken!

Page being the only viable area in the Northern Rives to harvest CSG and its 78,447 voters have sent a clear message to the anti CSG lobby groups.

Labor’s anti CSG former local member for Page Janelle Saffin lost her seat, her vote was down 6 per cent.

The Greens firmly stated prior to the election that they were the only ‘real’ anti-CSG voice in Page. Their vote was down by almost one third, from 8.58 per cent to 6.33 per cent. Greens’ Desley Banks received only 4,682 votes.

The senate results in Page were even more emphatic, the Greens and the other specialist anti CSG group the ‘Stop CSG’ party vote was abysmal.

In Page, the Senate’s result for the Stop CSG Party was only 485 votes a mere 0.71 per cent and the Greens also polled poorly with 5,428 votes or just 7.93 per cent.

For the Nationals who have now won Page, their relevant shadow minister Ian Macfarlane’s pre election statement about how the looming NSW critical gas shortage that must be resolved indicates that the Nationals clearly now do have ‘social licence’ to resolve the NSW State’s indecision on CSG policy and help develop a viable safe gas industry.

It will be interesting to see what spin Lock the Gate and the Greens put on this electoral disaster.

If the ballot box is not good mandate for CSG, where can you apply for a ‘social licence’?

John Vaughan, Byron Bay

John, if you had read yesterday’s Echonetdaily you would have seen that Kevin Hogan has vowed to cross the floor over CSG.  – Ed

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  1. In The Australian today is an article which features comments by Nats Kevin Hogan which may explain why the anti CSG vote was neutralised in Page.

    “”The new member for the northern NSW seat of Page, Kevin Hogan, yesterday said his first responsibility was to represent the interests and values of voters in his electorate.

    “I’m very aligned to values of the Nationals and so the Coalition, but I stand for the interest of regional communities like mine first, and I will be doing that as strongly and forcefully as I can,” Mr Hogan said.

    “If that means crossing the floor and voting against the Coalition — and I don’t say that lightly because I am not going to be disrespectful to the people who voted for me as a National — about issues I feel strongly about, that’s what I will be doing.”

    Mr Hogan said he did not want to “paint himself as a maverick” or as an MP who would cross the floor often or lightly.

    He said it would be a solemn decision, taken only after much soul-searching.

    He nominated foreign investment in farmland as something he was a “little nervous” about, particularly when foreign governments were the buyers.

    “But my biggest reservations are about coal-seam gas mining; I strongly believe it should not interfere with land and water, and that it should not be allowed on prime agricultural land; I would absolutely be prepared to cross the floor on this issue,” Mr Hogan said

  2. Dear Editor,
    Though hardly surprised to read yet another tiresome anti-green rant by John Vaughan, his take on the facts cannot go unchallenged. The facts are -,the residents of Page, as with those of surrounding seats, were surveyed on their views on CSG and an overwhelming majority voted NO to CSG in their region. The low vote for the so-called No CSG Party reflected the savvy of voters to see them for the deluded amateurs they were, not a comment on any issue. They didn’t deserve – or get-any support for their preference stupidity or their attempts to divide the movement. But by no means does their implosion mean electors had had a turnabout in their views on unconventional gas mining. Ultimately this election was about one issue and one issue only- teaching Labor a lesson. Putting any other spin on it is clutching at straws and showing ones’ prejudices.
    Chris Anderson


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