STRONG MESSAGE: (From left) Ross Joseph, of Bentley, Lock the Gate and Gas Free Northern Rivers regional co-ordinator Elly Bird and Dean Draper, present thousands of letters of protest against CSG activity on the Northern Rivers at the office of Ballina Nationals candidate Kris Beavis.
STRONG MESSAGE: (From left) Ross Joseph, of Bentley, Lock the Gate and Gas Free Northern Rivers regional co-ordinator Elly Bird and Dean Draper, present thousands of letters of protest against CSG activity on the Northern Rivers at the office of Ballina Nationals candidate Kris Beavis. Cathy Adams

Ballina Nats candidate says he would fight CSG if elected

NATIONALS candidate for Ballina, Kris Beavis, has responded to thousands of anti-CSG "photo letters" posted on his campaign office with a promise to oppose the controversial mining practice if elected on March 28.

Gasfield Free Northern Rivers members took to the National's Ballina office with 2200 photo letters from local residents with the message "All I want is a gasfield free Northern Rivers".

Mr Beavis responded saying he would push the anti-CSG message in Sydney if elected.

"I've basically said from day one that I don't think it's appropriate for our area," he said.

"As a party, our DNA is very much about the farmers and when we went door knocking they're all saying the same thing that if we haven't got the science, we shouldn't be doing it."

Mr Beavis's view may put him at odds with the rest of his partners in the Coalition.

"If that makes me distinctive from the party, so be it," Mr Beavis said.

"But that is my position and at the end of the day every representative is there to represent their community, it's not the other way round."

Gasfield Free Northern Rivers members have been collecting the photo letters since the 8000-strong Lismore rally in November. An additional 1353 letters were sent to Premier Mike Baird leading up to the rally.

Gasfield Free Northern Rivers regional co-ordinator Dean Draper said these photo letters represented only a fraction of the community who would be turning out to vote on March 28.

"I think that the Nationals need to get on board with the other parties who have listened to the people of the Northern Rivers," he said.

Bentley land owner Ross Joseph said the Nationals gas plan was flawed and would provide no protection to the region.

"Only two weeks after our rally last year, the National Liberal Coalition government went ahead and renewed the largest licence in our region," he said.

"It's blatantly obvious that they aren't listening to us."

Both Labor and The Greens have announced they would ban CSG on the Northern Rivers if elected.


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