Labor has voted with the Liberals and Nationals to block a Senate motion that detailed their failure to return all the political donations that they have received from the CSG company Santos. The motion also called for a ban on political donations from mining and coal seam gas companies.
‘It is deeply disappointing that Labor has refused to back a ban on political donations from mining and coal seam gas companies,’ said Greens Senator for NSW Lee Rhiannon.
‘Labor’s failure to return all the money they have received from Santos seriously undermines their credibility on standing with residents opposed to CSG.
‘They have been left looking insincere and opportunists.
‘Our motion called for an end to corrupting donations from these companies. It also called for a complete end to coal seam gas and coal mining on agricultural land and associated water resources,’ Senator Rhiannon said.
Greens candidate for Lismore Adam Guise has called on Labor to return the donations it has received from coal seam gas companies.
‘This election is about trust. Neither Labor or the Nationals can be trusted on coal seam gas. You can trust the Greens to lock the gate to coal seam gas across the state.
‘Just last month NSW Labor accepted donations from Santos at the same time as they were saying they would protect this region from CSG.
‘When the Greens brought that donation to public attention, Labor said they would hand it back.
‘Considering that Federal Labor has also accepted around $90,000 from Santos in the past two years, it’s a shame that they won’t follow the lead of their NSW colleagues and hand the money back.’
NSW Labor said on March 17 it had returned a donation received from Santos Ltd ‘to ensure there is no doubt in the community’s mind that we are committed to a CSG-free north coast.
‘Labor has listened to local communities and believe it is just too much of a risk to the rich agricultural land, tourism industry and world heritage national parks on the north coast.
‘NSW Labor’s unequivocal policy position is to ban CSG mining across the north coast forever.’
However Greens candidate for Ballina Tamara Smith said the decision to block the Senate motion showed that Labor was trying to have it both ways.
‘As the NSW election draws closer, Labor is allowing local communities to believe that it will stand with them to protect their land.
‘But behind closed doors, they are apparently happy to continue taking donations from these companies.
‘Now, federal Labor has voted against our calls to end coal seam gas mining on farming land and ban donations from coal seam gas companies.
‘Labor can’t have it both ways. It must stand with local communities to protect our land – or be upfront about its ties to the industry,’ said Ms Smith.
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