Ballina MP Don Page has been conspicuously absent from protests against unconventional gas, according to some of his constituents, so they hatched a plan to make sure he was seen around Bentley this week.
Since the minister for the north coast couldn’t be enticed to Metgasco’s planned gas-well site in person, they made sure he put in some ‘face time’ by donning masks featuring his smiling visage.
Members of Gasfield Free Byron Shire, who made the statement at the protectors’ camp yesterday, told Echonetdaily Mr Page seemed to have changed his pre-election stance of no CSG mining in his electorate since being returned to office.
‘He doesn’t represent the vast majority of his constituents in Ballina electorate, and as minister of north coast he refuses to have open dialogue,’ said group member and Mullum Creek resident Dave Rawlins.
‘We refute his claims that unconventional gas mining is safe, as has been evidenced by events at Pilliga and Tara,’ he added.
His views were echoed by George Gebhardt, of Bangalow, who is currently at the Bentley protectors camp.
‘Don Page has stated CSG should only ever occur if there is no negative impact on our environment, land and water resources,’ he said.
‘The evidence is pretty damning from every angle. This dangerous industry has no place anywhere, let alone our pristine northern rivers,’ he added.
‘We call on Don Page, our MP to stand with us when we really need him,’ Mr Gebhardt said.