Friday, 31 October 2014
If there was an issue so big that it is recognised by both government and industry as being close to the hearts of a great many residents and electors living on the NSW North Coast, it is community opposition to coal seam and tight gas exploration and potential production.
So what did the Nationals do on one of Troy Grant’s early visits as Nationals leader and deputy premier of the state – they start a donnybrook that will have people shaking their heads and saying; Told you the Nats were for all for 1,000 well strong gasfields in our paddocks.
Grant needs to keep better control of his troops if he wants the Nationals to hold regional seats in the March 2015 state election and, he needs to recognise that commercial gasfields will ruin the North Coast's clean green image which underpins local economies.
Echo Netdaily 27 October 2014:
Tweed mayor Gary Bagnall has launched a scathing attack on state MP Geoff Provest and deputy premier Troy Grant, accusing the two National Party politicians of trying to gag him over his stand against coal-seam gas (CSG) mining.
The defiant dummy-spit came on the eve of a media event organised by the two MPs yesterday at which they announced funding for a new tourism sign on the highway at the Queensland border.
Despite being snubbed for what he wanted to say, the Tweed mayor went along to the highway-edge announcement.
The row erupted on Friday when Mr Provest emailed council general manager Troy Green to tell him to trash a draft press release on the funding announcement because the mayor had made comments he didn’t like.
Cr Bagnall, who was elected mayor just last month, said his comments for the draft release had welcomed the funding for the sign, adding that Tweed council had taken the initiative to promote tourism by installing new signs ‘explaining the indigenous meaning of some village names, and that the shire also had plans for Gasfield Free signs’.
But Mr Provest saw red when he read the draft and fired off an email to council to say he found the mayor’s comments ‘totally inappropriate’.
‘Commenting about the gas field free signs just shows a lack of integrity and professionalism,’ Mr Provest said, accusing Cr Bagnall of taking an ‘opportunity to have little digs at the state government’.
The Tweed MP then told council it would ‘not be required to make any official comment’.
Cr Bagnall told Echonetdaily he was furious at being ‘snubbed and told to shut up’, saying new deputy premier Mr Grant was a staunch supporter of CSG and would not have liked ‘any mention of CSG”.
‘But I won’t be silenced,’ the mayor said….
Cr Bagnall said Mr Grant was on the record as describing those opposing CSG exploration as ‘scaremongering’.
He said he would always stand up for Tweed residents’ opposition to CSG and unconventional gas exploration.
“The deputy premier is the second most powerful elected NSW politician, but he does not have a right to tell me what to think or say,’ Cr Bagnall said.
‘I stand with our community and oppose harmful coal seam gas mining and I will never be silenced by CSG supporters like the Nationals’ deputy premier or Geoff Provest,’ the mayor said….