Federal Member for Richmond Justine Elliot with the former Member for Page Janelle Saffin pictured last year sending a petition to State Parliament to have the Northern Rivers declared a CSG-free zone.
Federal Member for Richmond Justine Elliot with the former Member for Page Janelle Saffin pictured last year sending a petition to State Parliament to have the Northern Rivers declared a CSG-free zone. Andy Parks

Elliot and Saffin’s signature campaign leads to CSG debate

A DEBATE triggered by 12,000 anti-CSG signatures gathered on the Northern Rivers by two local Federal MPs will take place in NSW State Parliament next Thursday.

Richmond MP Justine Elliot, who with former Page MP Janelle Saffin mounted the petition, said they had to use the strategy to force State MPs into coming clean on their position on CSG.

"The North Coast National Party MPs Geoff Provest, Don Page, Thomas George, and Chris Gulaptis have nowhere left to hide," Ms Elliot said.

"They must stand up and speak in this debate.

"The biggest threat to our way of life is the National Party's pro-CSG, drilling, fracking and expansion agenda.

"Our community was forced to present this Petition because the National Party MPs are refusing to listen to locals."

CSG has divided the National Party with Mr Page and Mr George arguing in support of greater regulation of the industry, while other party members have been vocal in their outright opposition to its expansion.

Ms Elliot and Ms Saffin launched the petition in February.

It takes at least 10,000 signatures on a petition to force a debate in State Parliament.

Meanwhile, anti-CSG protestors from the Northern Rivers are meeting with the Federal Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane in Canberra today to warn him of a "world of pain" if CSG is imposed in the area.

Protest spokesman Ian Gaillard said: The minister has convened a meeting seeking a way forward for the gas industry in the Northern Rivers and we would be more than happy to work together to find an exit strategy by which Metgasco can minimise its losses."


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