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Monday, 23 June 2014
Page: 158

Mrs ELLIOT (Richmond) (16:27): This week the New South Wales state government is set to make a decision about mining company Metgasco suspension of their drilling licence at Bentley near Lismore. Many in our community have expressed concern that the New South Wales Liberal-National government could possibly backflip on suspension of Metgasco's drilling licence. This morning hundreds of people returned to Bentley to highlight our opposition to unconventional gas mining on the North Coast. At the meeting, Gasfield Free Northern Rivers spokesperson Boudicca Cerese told the meeting, 'Our message to Metgasco and the government is that our community is still here and we are still determined to keep our region gas free.' She then invited everyone to sign a letter to New South Wales Premier Mike Baird and to local National Party MPs asking that this suspension remain in place. The letter will be delivered tomorrow at midday to the offices of National MPs Thomas George, Don Page, Geoff Provest and Chris Gulaptis and a delegation will attend a meeting of the Richmond Valley Council at 5 pm tomorrow. I understand the delegation is also going to Sydney and hopes to meet the Premier.

At this morning's meeting, National Party MPs were also strongly urged to represent our community rather than to continue to support the vested interests of mining companies like Metgasco. I also urge National Party MPs to stop your pro-CSG agenda, to stop ignoring the wishes of locals, to listen to locals and to act on community concerns. The community's view is very clear: uphold Metgasco's licence suspension, then cancel the licence outright, then declare the North Coast gas field free. (Time expired)