Monday, 10 November 2014

The NSW Nationals MP for Clarence is not happy when heckled by anti-gasfields protestors

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:

The Clarence MP says he'll sue anyone who suggests he has improper ties to the coal seam gas industry.
Chris Gulpatis said he was recently confronted by someone alleging he had a conflict of interest due to time working with a company known for its CSG work.
Mr Gulpatis worked as a surveyor for LandPartners in 2006.
But he said he never worked on CSG projects.
"Well the Chris Gulaptis that worked for LandPartners as a consultant is me, but the Chris Gulaptis who worked on any CSG projects is total fabrication and lie," Mr Gulaptis said.
He said if rumours continue to circulate about CSG connections, he'll get legal advice.
"Well, I have no ties with the industry and I get very frustrated when they spread lies and innuendo and make false allegations and I would just advise people to be very careful if they do so and they impugn my reputation then I will have no hesitation in seeking a defamation action against them," he said.
Mr Gulaptis accused his critics of spreading rumours based on a 'Google' search.
"What astounds me is people have not researched my background and they come up with these false allegations and I really have to question how much they have researched the CSG industry.
"Clearly if they are fabricating stories about me I would suggest they probably fabricating stories about the CSG industry as well, I mean GOOGLE can find you a million answers," Mr Gulaptis said.

The Daily Examiner 4 November 2014:
Mr Gulaptis said a protester stationed outside his Prince St office loudly accused him of having worked for a company with links to coal seam gas mining.
He did not deny having worked for LandPartners as a surveyor until 2006 but said his job never involved in any CSG operations.
The accusations have since made their way to Facebook.
"As far as I'm concerned, that's nothing but gossip and malicious lies," he said.
"I'm a surveyor - that's my profession - and I worked for LandPartners as a consultant.
"It certainly had nothing to do with the CSG industry and I ceased working for them in 2006
"At that stage, I had never even heard of CSG and I certainly didn't work on any CSG projects."

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.

One has to wonder if he was also questioned about his time at as a senior operations manager for Brazier Motti Pty Ltd engineering and mining surveyors in Mackay, Queensland commencing around 2009 and presumably finishing when he won NSW Nationals pre-selection for the Clarence by-election in 2011.

A position he used to enthusiastically support the mining industry:

The Mackay region includes the Abbot Point coal port and the town has coal seam gas exploration tenements to its west, as well as some of its businesses servicing the gas industry.

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.

ABC News 26 September 2012:

A mining company with gas exploration licences for the Clarence Valley has just signed a multi million dollar deal with an energy company.
The almost $3 million dollar agreement between Red Sky Energy and ERM Power will fund drilling of up to nine gas wells.
Clarence MP Chris Gulaptis said as far as he knows it is not a coal seam gas exploration project.
"On the surface they are talking about conventional gas, I think that's a good thing," he said.
"They're talking about domestic use, I think that's a good thing.
"I think the fact that the NSW government has at long last put some regulations in place to monitor the gas industry is also a good thing.
"So it all comes together at the right time."
Mr Gulaptis said he is not yet sure how big the local gas reserve is, or what the lifespan of the project is.
"I'm not sure about the extent of the resource is but clearly with a heavy investment there must be some confidence that the resource is fairly extensive," he said.
"It could be a good thing if it is a sustainable project which delivers gas to our domestic market."

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:

1. The term “tight gas sands” refers to low permeability sandstone reservoirs that produce primarily dry natural gas. A tight gas reservoir is one that cannot be produced at economic flow rates or recover economic volumes of gas unless the well is stimulated by a large hydraulic fracture treatment and/or produced using horizontal wellbores (Holditch, 2006). Tight gas includes basin-centred gas systems, defined by Law (2002) as low-permeability, gas-saturated reservoirs that are abnormally pressured, regionally pervasive, and lack down-dip water contacts. [SA Government Dept of State Development]

No comments: