News

Labor promises to declare North Coast CSG free if elected

NO CSG HERE: Determined people at the Bentley Blockade earlier this year.
NO CSG HERE: Determined people at the Bentley Blockade earlier this year. Mireille Merlet-Shaw

THE NORTH Coast will be guaranteed "CSG free" if NSW Labor wins next year's state election.

The news follows a unanimous vote to support a gas ban in the state seats of Lismore, Ballina, Clarence and the Tweed at the party's state conference on Sunday.

Former Federal Member for Page Janelle Saffin and federal Richmond MP Justine Elliott introduced the motion to the floor.

The declaration will now become formal Labor policy at the March 2015 election.

Tweed Labor candidate Ron Goodman said the move was a win for the region's tourism and agricultural sectors, arguing employees in those sectors stood to lose jobs if the CSG industry came to the region.

He contrasted the Labor platform with that of the NSW government - which he said was "unashamedly" pro-CSG - quoting Deputy Premier Andrew Stoner's description of Bentley protesters as "professional bludgers".

"I've visited Bentley… I've met the local community members who are passionately against this operation," Mr Goodman said.

"The National Party tried to treat them as some sort of blow-in radicals who are just shopping for a cause; the reality is they're people who care desperately about the community they live in - and they don't want to see it destroyed."

But one former Labor leading light, turned gas industry lobbyist, was unlikely to share the feelings of those at the conference.

Chairman of oil and gas lobby group APPEA and former Federal Energy Minister Martin Ferguson last week accused the NSW Labor Opposition of being "hell-bent on chasing Green votes in Nimbin and Lismore" at the expense of "the working families of Western Sydney".

Mr Goodman said he was "hell bent" on "protecting the industries and jobs that we have now" by making sure the reputation of the region wasn't "damaged" by coal seam gas mining.

Meanwhile, Labor candidate for Lismore Isaac Smith said he would be surprised if the Labor Party listened to a gas lobbyist - even an ex-Labor one.

Instead he pointed to Mr Ferguson's comments as just grounds for Labor leader John Robertson's election, promising to ban lobbyists in NSW.

"He (Mr Ferguson) is Mr Gas… I'm glad Sydney's listening to me and not him," Cr Smith said.

Mr Ferguson has attacked the NSW Government as "pandering to Alan Jones and activists."

Topics:  appea, csg, martin ferguson, nsw election, politics




Prestigious award for the best burial crypt in town

FE Marsh & Co has won an award for their work on St Carthage's Cathedral, which included the construction of a new 12-vault burial crypt beneath the floor.

Awards for fancy pools and underground crypts

Top 10 moments in Jenny Dowell's time as mayor

Lismore City Mayor Jenny Dowell has been busy during her eight years at the helm.

We take a look at the Top 10 moments for Jenny Dowell as mayor.

Latest deals and offers

Elm Street is far from a nightmare

Elm street's new album is making waves. Photo Contributed

Elm Street talks about drumming studios, power metal and the album.

Don't miss Tim Stokes' big live show

NEW RELEASE: Byron Bay artist Tim Stokes.

At the Byron Theatre on Saturday, August 13.

Max Pellicano brings The King back

ON STAGE: Max Pellicano during his tribute show Elvis To The Max.

The Elvis to the Max Show is coming to Ballina

What's on the small screen this week

Keira Maguire and Richie Strahan in a scene from The Bachelor.

SEVEN gears up for the Rio Olympics while The Bachelor continues.

Drowning Pool gig review at Max Watt's

Drowning Pool played Brisbane with A Breach of Silence and She Cries Wolf at the Max Watt's House of Music.

Drowning Pool prove that 'bodies' hit the floor when they play

Dance to Tora's groovy chillwave

LOCALS: Byron Bay music band Tora arem, from left, Toby Tunis-Plant, Thorne Davis, Shaun Johnston, Jai Piccone and Jo Loewenthal.

The five-piece will offer a live show in Byron Bay later this month.

Queensland's $1 town goes under the hammer today

The township of Yelarbon is up for sale.

Unprecedented auction of town's business centre with no reserve

Work starts on $15M Caloundra apartment building

Turning the first sod at the Aqua View Apartments site in Kings Beach are (from left) husband-and-wife developers Alex Yuan and Stella Sun with construction company Tomkins director Mike Tomkins and Councillor Tim Dwyer.

Developers excited about addition to Kings Beach skyline

Plans revealed for 1500-lot 'master-planned community'

Precinct will be bounded by Boundary St and Shoesmith Rd

Ecco Ripley sales run sparks prime release

MOVING IN: Sekisui House has announced the release of more residential blocks at Ecco Ripley.

Sekisui House is preparing to unveil more land at Ecco Ripley

Massive residential 9-storey high-rise hit by delays

An artist’s impression of the eight-storey-high apartment complex that Bernoth Holdings wants to build in South Toowoomba, next to the City Golf Club.

Developer struggles to get approved high-rise development started