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April 23, 2021

Page ‘a hypocrite’ on CSG says MP Elliot

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Luis Feliu

Retiring Ballina MP Don Page’s final speech to NSW parliament, in which he pushed for his electorate to be coal-seam gas (CSG) free, has been seized on by federal MP for Richmond Justine Elliot who slammed it as ‘absolute hypocrisy’.

Mr Page, who stands down next March after a 27-year parliamentary career, urged MPs on Thursday night not to re-issue the part of a petroleum exploration licence (PEL) which covers his electorate proposed to be reliqinquished by the mining company which holds it.

Mrs Elliot was scathing of the National Party MP, saying Mr Page should be ‘ashamed of himself’ for now wanting only his electorate CSG free and that he had ‘been actively lobbying and pushing for years for the CSG industry on the north coast’.

The Labor MP, who has campaigned to keep the entire northern rivers CSG-free, said she was ‘sickened’ to hear the ‘absolute hypocrisy’ of the Nats MP on the issue.

Mr Page told parliament that ‘the great majority of people in my electorate, including me, do not see CSG as being compatible with the character of the electorate’.

‘The Ballina electorate is all about tourism, the creative industries, agriculture and horticulture, appropriate development and protecting our clean, green sustainability focus, including renewable energy,’ he said.

‘I’ve also taken the view that CSG should not proceed if there is any environmental damage to land or water as a result, and I will always hold that view.

‘There is no CSG in the Ballina electorate, however there is a PEL over it.138449_822e74d781a14cc8a8cb

‘When the owners of PEL 445 surrender 25 per cent of their licence, the government should not re-issue that part of it, thereby making the Ballina electorate CSG-free.’

Dart Energy holds the licence after buying it two years ago from Arrow Energy, a company jointly owned by Royal Dutch Shell and PetroChina.

The licence covers most of the northern rivers, or around 7,100 square kilometres, and adjacent to tenements held by Metgasco (under suspension) and ERM (see map).

Mr Page also told parliament in his valedictory speech that he would love to see a rail trail built on the disused Casino-Murwillumbah rail line as it would boost tourism, create jobs and improve health.

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6 COMMENTS

  1. Both major parties are hypocrites. The Greens are the only ones with credibility – they oppose CSG all the time, everywhere. Not just where’s its most unpopular when an election is coming up.

  2. There is much hypocrisy, in the positions of the major parties, and politicians involved both incumbent and challenging. Weasel words are the order off the day, the good Mr Page is no different.
    It should be remembered in the run up to the coming election that voters need to have a long memory,
    and not be swayed by the words of the day from the mouths of both major parties, who’s major interest seems to be the exercise of power, not the best interests of those whom they represent.
    Some may remember that Royal Dutch Shell were and are heavily heavily involved in the devastation that has taken place in the Niger Delta, many believe and evidence points to their complicity in the execution of Ken Sarwewa a leading activist in Nigeria and a number of his fellow activists. Although we are fortunate to live in a healthier democracy that that in Nigeria, nonetheless we have been witness to much political corruption in NSW recently.
    We need new blood, not the same old thing, if nothing changes, then nothing changes.

  3. Why has this got “good riddance” written all over it? This is the guy who spent years banging on about the (justified) return of the passenger rail to service to Murwillumbah only to backflip once he met those ever-so- lovely rail trail people. So now he’s tripped up again. Poor thing. He needs the rest of retirement real soon.

  4. He says the rail trail will improve health. So do you think highly arsenic toxins from the 100yo wooden sleepers will improve Heath? One thing it will do is kill people

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