CSG activists welcome Richmond MP's role change
THE local anti-CSG movement has welcomed Richmond MP Justine Elliot's decision to relinquish her role as Parliamentary Secretary for Trade on the grounds it conflicted with her fight to stop CSG mining on the North Coast.
Prime Minister Julia Gillard announced that Ms Elliot was stepping down from the position on Saturday during the media conference in which she also revealed that Attorney-General Nicola Roxon and Leader of The Government in the Senate Chris Evans would not contest the next election.
Ms Elliot was given the post after the last election.
Michael McNamara of Lock the Gate-Tweed said he was encouraged by Ms Elliot's decision.
But Mr McNamara said the true test would be how she worked with the Lock the Gate movement and what actions she took within the Caucus and ALP to change the party's policy on CSG.
In a statement announcing her decision, Ms Elliot said she would always stand up for locals on the issues that were important such as calling for a moratorium on CSG.
"In contrast all the National Party MPs and candidates on the North Coast support harmful CSG mining in our area," she said.
"I call on the National Party state MPs to tell the O'Farrell Government that our community demands a moratorium on CSG."
While there have been suggestions that Ms Elliot was dumped, a spokesman denied it.
He said the conflict with promoting the sale of natural resources when she was opposed to CSG mining was the primary reason for the decision.
Victorian MP Kelvin Thomson has replaced Ms Elliot.