Sunday, 1 June 2014

Federal Labor MP for Richmond congratulates Northern Rivers for its resistance to Metgasco Limited's plans to create gasfields in the region

Australian Parliament House of Representatives Hansard 26 May 2014:

Richmond Electorate: Coal Seam Gas

Mrs ELLIOT (Richmond) (16:03): I rise to speak about a great community victory on the North Coast of New South Wales on 15 May when the gas company Metgasco had its drilling licence suspended at Bentley near Lismore. I take this opportunity to thank all of those in the community who work so hard to force the New South Wales state government to suspend this licence. We know it is only a suspension and we have to remain vigilant to ensure that all forms of unconventional gas mining do not occur in our area. We can only achieve this with the Northern Rivers being declared gas field free. We will keep this campaign going. We had such a variety of people involved in this community protest: farmers, families, grandparents, kids, locals, people from all around our region, people from right around the state, people from interstate and people from outside Australia. Everyone helped us. This is a victory for all those community workers who worked so hard; for those people who camped at Bentley; for the thousands who showed up at Bentley; for those who supported the Bentley blockade; for the people who wrote letters and signed petitions; for the people who marched in those rallies; for the people who declared their streets and communities gas field free; for all the people at Lock the Gate, including Ian Gaillard, Michael McNamara, Phil Laird; and for our local media, who highlighted the community's concerns, particularly the Byron Echo, the ABC at Lismore and the Northern Star. This victory is a community one. It is not one that the National Party have been trying to claim. They have been pushing CSG for years. People were upset when it, pathetically, tried to claim this victory as its own. The fact is, it ignored the concerns that had been brought to them by thousands of people over the years. Make no mistake: it was a community victory that brought about this outcome, because our community stood together. Many individuals—and I congratulate all of those individuals—and community groups worked so hard. This is your victory. You should own it. Congratulations for the great work that you did in protecting our beautiful north coast.

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