Monday 3 October 2011

Is NSW Nationals Clarence pre-selection candidate Chris Gulaptis compromised by his employment history?

As NSW Nationals in the North Coast seat of Clarence prepare to pick their candidate at the forthcoming by-election caused by the sudden resignation of disgraced Nationals MP, Steve Cansdell, one has to wonder about the agenda of many.

Take former land developer, sometime mayor of Maclean Shire and one time councillor on Clarence Valley Shire Council, Chris Gulaptis, whose disastrous tilt at the federal seat of Page in 2007 saw him retreat first overseas and then north of the border to become a senior operations manager for Brazier Motti Pty Ltd in Mackay, Queensland.

A position he used to enthusiastically support the mining industry:

So far Mr. Gulaptis has been silent as to his recent employment history, including whether he is still employed or under contract to this company which has at least one mining corporation on its client list.

However, the subject is one he cannot ignore given the interest being displayed by interstate and multinational mining corporations in the prospect of coal seam gas, antimony, gold and copper mining right across the Clarence electorate and beyond.

He needs to tell North Coast Nationals and the electorate whether he intends to further mining industry interests should he ever be elected to the NSW Parliament and O’Farrell Coalition Government.

Chris Gulaptis is not the only pre-selection candidate who needs to state their current position on mining.

On 13 September 2011 Clarence Valley Mayor Richie Williamson was due to attend a presentation by Anchor Resources on its plan to establish an antimony mine in the environmentally sensitive Nymboida River high country which provides both Clarence Valley and Coffs Habour local government areas with urban drinking water.

In June 2011 Mayor Williamson did
initially express concern about the proposed antimony mine, backpedalled a bit thereafter and since then has been remarkably quiet about the issue.

While in 2009-10 Richmond Shire councillor Stuart George threw his support behind coal seam gas mining on the NSW North Coast and Metgasco's plans for a power station in the Richmond Valley and gas pipeline into Queensland and, in 2011 was attempting to block a transparent flow of information to agencies managing urban water supplies which might be affected by contentious mining methods.

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