Elliot praises efforts of Doubtful Creek protesters
RICHMOND MP Justine Elliot claims the NSW North Coast's Nationals MPs are "too scared" to stand up to Premier Barry O'Farrell over the issue of coal seam gas expansion.
Ms Elliot, who this week stood down as parliamentary secretary for trade so she could focus on fighting the expansion of CSG on the North Coast, also praised the efforts of protesters in Richmond and the neighbouring seat of Page.
During two speeches to the Parliament on Wednesday she told the House of Representatives about the "very strong campaign" being waged against the industry on the North Coast, using the anti-CSG protest at Doubtful Creek, near Kyogle, as an example of the sentiment in the region.
"Members have to understand that there is a lot of passion and commitment from people in terms of the reality and the impact of coal seam gas mining," Ms Elliot said during Wednesday night's adjournment debate.
Ms Elliot highlighted the work of Page MP Janelle Saffin, Lismore Mayor Jenny Dowell and a number of community groups for the work they had done to stop the march of CSG mining on the North Coast.
She said it was encouraging to see Tweed, Byron Bay and Lismore councils had taken a strong stand on the issue.
"When we look at the strong community and how everyone has come together, we see so many declarations right across the North Coast, particularly from some of our councils, which have declared themselves CSG free," she said.
Ms Elliot used both speeches to call on the North Coast's state Nationals MPs to pressure Mr O'Farrell to stop CSG expansion in the region.
"As I have been saying repeatedly of late, I am calling upon those state National Party members-the Member for Lismore, the Member for Tweed and the Member for Ballina-to actually start doing their job and go and see Premier Barry O'Farrell and tell him that the people of the North Coast do not want coal seam gas mining," she said just before question time.
"All we have seen from those state MPs on the North Coast is absolute silence and total inaction. Well, they had better start listening and they had better start going to see Premier Barry O'Farrell, because the people of the North Coast have spoken very loudly and clearly. I stand with them in calling for a ban on coal seam gas mining on the New South Wales North Coast."
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