Saffin plays big role in gas vote

Federal Member for Richmond Justine Elliot with the former Member for Page Janelle Saffin pictured last year sending a petition to State Parliament to have the Northern Rivers declared a CSG-free zone.
Federal Member for Richmond Justine Elliot with the former Member for Page Janelle Saffin pictured last year sending a petition to State Parliament to have the Northern Rivers declared a CSG-free zone. Andy Parks

FORMER Page MP Janelle Saffin said her tilt for the state presidency of NSW Labor at the party's conference at the weekend helped ensure Labor's "CSG free North Coast" motion gained unanimous support.

Ms Saffin, seconded by Richmond MP Justine Elliott, introduced an urgency motion to the floor to capitalise on grass roots momentum for the CSG policy from local branches.

The wording of the motion includes the gas industry being "incompatible" with existing sectors such as tourism and agriculture.

She said she was "absolutely" proud of the achievement, which would be the policy that NSW Labor takes to the 2015 election.

"I think it will play out extremely well across the seats of Lismore, Ballina, Clarence, and Tweed - the four seats that have overwhelmingly said we do not want CSG," Ms Saffin said.

She said she had told Labor colleagues at the conference that 7000 agricultural jobs would go if CSG mining took place in the region.

Ms Saffin is remaining active in politics and said she had not ruled out standing for Page in 2016.

She described the Federal budget as an "absolute killer".

Unions NSW secretary Mark Lennon was ultimately elected NSW Labor president.

Topics:  coal seam gas, csg, janelle saffin, labor party, nsw labor

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