Ian Gaillard (letters, Echonetdaily October 2), not Ian Macfarlane, is the one insulting NSW communities over gas. The voters particularly in Page saw right through the campaign of fear and misinformation.
Federal industry minister Ian Macfarlane made the current government’s proposed gas policy crystal clear before the election, particularly clear to the electorate of Page, the only electorate with gas potential (for conventional gas or CSG) in the northern rivers.
Contrary to what Mr Gaillard says, there is an impending gas supply crisis, and expected rises in gas prices. Putting your head in the sand won’t assist local jobs or industry. Major employer industries are already leaving NSW.
The impending gas cost and supply constraints are why major local employers such as Richmond Dairies have sought and contracted future local gas supplies from Metgasco. They are currently paying three times the price for gas compared to industrial users in other states and the future looked bleak.
Mr Gaillard says that ‘Mr Macfarlane has put himself on a collision course with the vast majority of people in the northern rivers’ and, ‘More than 85 per cent of the region [is] united in our opposition’. Nonsense!
The clear result in Page showed a massive swing to the Nationals; a swing of more than 12 per cent in the rural booths with gas potential. Both the Nationals’ and Labor’s policy on gas and energy favoured development.
Having voted, more than 90 per cent of the Page electorate voted either Labor or National. We can forget about the No CSG party vote in the Senate!
The Greens’ election material clearly stated they were the ‘only’ party in the electorate of Page clearly against the development of gas in the region. The Greens’ vote was down by 30 per cent, with a primary vote of just over six per cent.
Even Kevin Rudd said on a visit to Casino that ‘this region will be cooking with gas’. I guess the electorate believed Kevin and Ian Macfarlane and voted that way.
John Vaughan, Byron Bay