Demonstrators from the Northern Rivers prostesting coal seam gas
Demonstrators from the Northern Rivers prostesting coal seam gas Aswas Photography

CSG issue seeps into election campaign

COAL seam gas mining has again emerged as a Federal Election campaign issue in Richmond after Federal MP Justine Elliot and Greens candidate Dawn Walker signed a pledge condemning the controversial process.

CSG was a major issue during the 2013 Federal Election campaign with Labor and the Greens strongly advocating against fracking on the North Coast with Mrs Elliot retaining the seat of Richmond thanks to Greens' preferences.

On Tuesday, the Labor member and Mrs Walker lent their support to an anti-fracking campaign launched by the Lock the Gate group.

The Water4Life16 campaign promotes the protection of nationally significant water resources, support for the 'dining boom' not the mining boom, and ensuring the health of people through a CSG mining ban.

Mrs Elliot said Labor was "100%" against CSG mining in Richmond.

"We will fight every day to make sure we have legislation to protect our area, because ultimately we need that in place," she said.

Mrs Walker said the Greens are determined to put a halt to CSG mining and highlighted that both the National and Labor parties accept donations from fossil fuel companies.

Nationals candidate for Richmond Matthew Fraser said if elected at the July 2 poll, he "would be happy to work with anyone to ensure that CSG never returns to the Northern Rivers and our water is protected".

Meanwhile, Northern Rivers Guardians' spokesman Scott Sledge said the NSW Government's recent spruiking of mining opportunities on the North Coast at an international trade show highlighted the need for specific anti-CSG laws.

"They got caught and their justification was that some bureaucrats had got it wrong," he said.



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