RICHMOND Greens candidate Dawn Walker, who launched a "no new CSG in Tweed Heads" national plan this week, has rejected the Prime Minister's claim that the Northern Rivers was protected from the development of the unconventional gas industry.
Kevin Rudd was asked by a Lismore-based APN journalist during his visit to the region on Monday to clarify his position on the CSG issue given that his party platform states that it supports the development of the industry.
Mr Rudd said that in "sensitive areas like the Northern Rivers" decisions rested with the Federal Environment Minister and not "some state government minister from Macquarie St", a reference to the water trigger change to the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act introduced earlier this year.
Opposition leader Tony Abbott has said he will leave the state's to determine mining approvals.
But Ms Walker said Labor party policy called for the immediate expansion of the unconventional gas industry, including CSG mining throughout Australia.
"The Federal Labor Environment Minister has approved every single CSG mining application that has crossed his desk," Ms Walker said.
"In addition, Federal Labor has allowed the NSW and Queensland governments to rush through coal seam gas approvals despite community outrage.
"With this track record of approvals, the people of Northern Rivers are not protected by Labor or the Nationals from CSG mining."
On Monday Greens Senator Larissa Waters, flanked by Ms Walker, launched the Greens' "costed" national plan for no new coal seam gas at Tweed Heads.
"With big coal seam gas companies taking out exploration licenses in the Tweed and Byron shires, Richmond needs a member of Parliament that will stand up to the mining lobbies - not roll over to them like the old parties always do," Sen Waters said.
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