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Byron Shire
May 14, 2021

Playgroup ‘flash-mob’ targets Don Page

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Concerned north coast mothers and their children rallied outside Nationals state MP for Ballina Don Page’s office to protest gas mining at Bentley on Friday morning.

Thirty mothers set up a ‘playgroup flash-mob’ outside minister Page’s office with cushions, toys and colourful signs to convey their opposition to all forms of gas mining on the north coast.

‘As the member for Ballina and minister for the north coast, Don Page is jeopardising the health of north coast families by failing to stand against gas mining,’ said Mullumbimby mother of two, Bec Talbot.

‘The health of our children depends on clean air and clean water, yet Don Page is letting us down with his inaction. He should be standing alongside protectors out at Bentley, rather than sitting in his comfortable office in Ballina.’

‘Categorically rejected’

But Mr Page says he ‘categorically rejects their assertion’.

He told The Echo, ‘Far from letting people down I have been very active within the NSW government in dealing with what we inherited when we came to government in 2011. The previous state Labor government had issued 44 exploration licences covering 25 per cent of the state including the north coast with hardly any conditions attached.

‘Our government, by contrast, has issued no new licences and recently put a freeze on any new licences.

‘In the meantime we have put in place the toughest regulatory regime in the world to protect our land and water resources. While there is no CSG in the Ballina electorate, the previous government granted Dart Energy an exploration licence (PEL 445), which covers a large part of the the northern rivers area.

‘I have met with Dart and they are now proposing to relinquish that part of their PEL 445 which covers the Ballina electorate. I’m lobbying the minister for energy not to reissue that part of the PEL that is to be relinquished.’ He added that his meeting with the mothers and children was very cordial and respectful.

But Mr Page is yet to comment on whether he supports Metgasco’s planned gas drilling in prime agricultural lands at Bentley, or the local farmers that oppose it.


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4 COMMENTS

  1. Wait and see if Don’s around come election time, promising the world (until re-elected) Thomas George & Geoff Provest the same. An election promise isn’t worth the paper it’s written on………………….

  2. Yes, yes Don…we have heard all these old chestnuts rolled out before. You can tell us all that you have done, that you have frozen new PELs but you are still not intervening to stop Metgasco’s drilling at Bentley. The Bentley community is under siege by Metgasco & all your government can do is arrange for a massive police action to break the blockade of the people who have rallied to help us. This is your job! This is why we elected you to government: to protect our interests, not Metgasco’s. You have not even replied to the two letters we sent you asking for your support as Minister for the North Coast, to intervene on behalf of the Bentley Community, to prevent our precious prime agricultural land & water, homes & businesses being industrialised by the massive gasfield which will follow the discovery of gas. Why is your government determined to sacrifice this beautiful, unique area for the profit of Metgasco. tell us that? Why will you not represent your electorate? How dare you decide the fate of a whole community? Such arrogance will be judged harshly.You & your North Coast State National Party colleages will certainly be judged harshly come March 2015.

    • Well said Meg! It’s the thin edge of the wedge, the pointy bit Don, it’s time you stood up for your constituents. We are all very tired of your chestnuts, who cares who did what to whom? Get to Bentley and stop this madness now. [Unless you want] a job in the mining industry after you retire from politics Don… why you are failing to hear us, why you are doing very little to stop the threat to the Northern Rivers. It’s time Don.

  3. Well, this one certainly IS looking like a nimby case! Perhaps you have worked hard to ensure your own immediate area is safe from toxic industry, Don; well done you. Now, if you would only show the same interest in places just a tad to your west. You see, real people live over there, too, and who knows where your food originates from.

    Time to unambiguously state your position on Metgasco’s invasion of Bentley, and if you can’t demonstrate a stance that aligns with the wishes of your constituents, it’s time to hand over to someone who more effectively represents the vast majority of the people.

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