Doubts on coal seam gas
WHERE is Thomas?
That was the cry most heard about the State Member for Lismore last Saturday as the largest local protest in living memory got under way in Lismore.
Some even thought for a moment he was calmly observing the coal seam gas protest rally from his Lismore office but, no, that was a cardboard cut-out.
The real Thomas George remains overseas with Premier Barry O'Farrell on government business.
While a few cheeky protestors took advantage of the shopfront cut-out, placing an anti-CSG sticker over the Lismore MP's mouth, office staff confirmed Mr George was away and mostly not contactable until his return on May 23.
While questions for Mr George sent in by Northern Star readers via Facebook in the wake of the rally have been forwarded on by email, local councillors and residents continue to call on the State Government for leadership on the issue.
Lismore City councillor Simon Clough even carried a "where is Thomas" placard at the front of the rally. He was joined on the march around the CBD by five other councillors.
Cr Clough called on Mr George to listen to his own constituency, including National Party members, and take a stand on coal seam gas extraction.
"This is much bigger than anything we've seen before," he said.
"We had a whole lot of farmers marching with us - including avowed National Party voters - who are very concerned about property rights, the effects on their water, air, and the loss of their landscapes," he said.
"I'd be looking for Thomas to take leadership, get a vote from The National Party membership and represent them."
Cr Clough added that the Government's explanation of a looming energy crisis creating the need for CSG did not hold water.
"Most of the gas is earmarked for export so therefore it is not relevent to any energy crisis in NSW," he said.
"If in fact there is a looming energy crisis the Government should be looking towards renewables because they can be brought online very quickly with minimum environmental impact."
SHOULD THE STATE GOVERNMENT TAKE A STAND AGAINST CSG? SOUND OFF IN THE COMMENTS.