Thursday, 13 March 2014

So how is Kevin Hogan making the Australian Parliament aware of concerns held by local communities in his electorate in relation to coal seam/tight gas exploration & mining?

Kevin Hogan has been the Page electorate’s ‘man in Canberra’ for some months now.

Before his election he was aware of the level of opposition to coal seam gas/tight gas exploration and mining in his electorate and, heavily implied that he would progress these concerns if he became a member of the Australian Parliament.

Since then Kevin Hogan has spoken about his own alleged concerns about the negative impacts the gas industry may have on the Northern Rivers region at the 23 November 2013 Kyogle Gasfield Free Celebration and, was also listed as a speaker at a Gasfield Free Northern Rivers public meeting on 8 March 2014 who was going to speak about what he can do politically for his constituents.

Details of the 8 March meeting are yet to get a mention on his website, Facebook page or Twitter account.

To date his official website does not mention coal seam gas/tight gas exploration and mining under the Local Issues tab and, the subject is conspicuous by its absence in his posted media releases as well.

There is also little evidence that he is actively lobbying behind the scenes in support of community concerns relating to the gas industry.

He has spoken in the House of Representatives on at least sixteen occasions, but only once in his first speech on 20 November 2013 did he make mention of coal seam gas mining and, even that passing mention did not acknowledge the concerns held by communities in his electorate:

Madam Speaker—I like to have you here and I acknowledge you on the job you have been given and the great poise that you bring to the role—mining and farming can be a delicate balancing act in certain regions. I acknowledge the work done by my coalition colleagues in the New South Wales parliament, tightening up farmer protection in relation to coal seam gas mining in New South Wales. I acknowledge my federal colleagues and our position. Our policy is that water and prime agricultural land, as well as built-up areas, need to be protected from CSG mining. I believe, and in my opinion, so does the majority of my community, that given current extraction techniques this policy currently rules out the electorate of Page from CSG mining.

Voters in the Page electorate have a right to be suspicious of both Mr. Hogan’s election campaign statements and his resolve to strongly and forcefully stand up for his electorate now he is faced with the reality of his own Federal Coalition industry minister’s commitment to furthering the interests of the gas industry.

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