First term NSW Nationals Member for Clarence, former property developer and former Clarence Valley shire councillor, Chris Gulaptis, is a little hot under the collar if ABC News on 31 October 2014 is reading him correctly:
It would appear that Mr. Gulaptis did not enjoy being heckled by someone who questioned his 2006-2007 work history with Land Partners Limited (formerly Aspect North & KFM Partnership) – a company involved in the planning, design and construction phases of the Eastern Gas Pipeline in 1999-2000.
"I was so happy to get involved back into a community where mining was big again," he said.
When he unsuccessfully stood for the NSW federal seat of Page in 2007 Chris Gulaptis openly supported the coal seam gas industry and Metgaso Limited:
By 2012 he was in favour of Metgasco establishing a commercial tight gas1 field in the Clarence Valley.
Although from time to time in recent years Mr. Gulaptis has made mild media statements opposing coal seam gas mining in the Northern Rivers region, he has only spoken on the issue twice in state parliament in three years.
The first time on 20 June 2013 he stated; I am neither for nor against coal seam gas. He is also part of a government which has renewed two of Metgasco Limited's coal seam gas exploration licences and granted the company a production licence.
He supports the idea of designated gasfields being established within the state.
One doesn't know what Chris Gulaptis said to pro-CSG Federal Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane in October 2013, when he attended a Canberra meeting along with fellow Nationals NSW MP Thomas George and Federal MP Kevin Hogan, Peter Henderson and Stuart George from Metgasco, a representative of ERM (a major Metgasco shareholder), the head of Geoscience Australia, Richmond Valley Council General Manager John Walker, the head of Richmond Valley Water Users Group, NORCO chair Greg McNamara, dairy farmer Leigh Sherman, tourism operator and marine biologist Wendy Craig Duncan, Regional Co-ordinator for the Lock the Gate Alliance Ian Gaillard and Bentley landholder Peter Graham.
However, after this meeting the minister was reported as stating that; the majority opinion expressed at this meeting was that the CSG industry should operate within the framework set out by the NSW government including the buffer zone, while also meeting any conditions set out by the NSW chief scientist and where farmers agree to have CSG on their land.
That Mr. Gulaptis has chosen to issue a statement threatening legal action indicates that he is both acutely aware of community sentiment against the gas industry and sensitive about his own history in the lead up to the March 2015 state election.
This move may yet backfire on him as this Facebook post shows: