Topics:  ballina, clarence, coal seam gas, janelle saff, lismore

Nationals MPs happy to meet Saffin on CSG

Coal seam gas drilling rig on the Western Downs.
Coal seam gas drilling rig on the Western Downs. Contributed

NORTH Coast Nationals MPs say they would be "more than happy" to meet with Page MP Janelle Saffin on CSG.

Ms Saffin said she wrote to Nationals Don Page (Ballina), Thomas George (Lismore) and Chris Gulaptis (Clarence) on January 25 with an offer to meet on the controversial issue, but had received no reply.

But a statement issued by the three state members yesterday says it's in the timing.

"We did receive a letter from Janelle Saffin expressing her views on CSG. She said she was happy to meet but did not propose a place, date or time," the statement said.

"We are more than happy to meet with her although we do not share her most recent position on CSG. Indeed, we believe her tactics were always part of a stunt, not based on science but about her re-election campaign.

"Prior to the Liberals and Nationals coming into office, State Labor (Ms Saffin's party) had granted CSG licences to over 24% of the State, with virtually no regulations or protections."

It went on to state the Coalition Government had placed a stay on the granting and renewal of any new licences until the implementation of strict new controls regulating the industry.

A package of 27 stringent controls were now in place, "making the CSG industry in NSW the most heavily regulated of anywhere in Australia".

Two codes of practice covering exploration and mining with 25 other safeguards, protecting groundwater, surface water and the environment had been introduced.

The codes had been endorsed by the Chief Scientist, Dr Mary O'Kane and an independent scientific committee.



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