Mayor pressures Page to speak up for locals on CSG concerns
BYRON Shire mayor Simon Richardson has called for Ballina MP Don Page to stand up for his constituents on coal seam gas after an anti-CSG meeting last night in Mullumbimby.
Galvanised by the NSW Aboriginal Land Council's recent prospecting application over a large portion of Byron Shire, the meeting filled the Byron Shire Council chambers in Mullumbimby with at least 300 people attending.
Cr Richardson, who ran against Mr Page as a Greens candidate at the last state election, said if Byron Shire residents continued to vote against CSG, it was critical for Mr Page to represent them.
"Surely the Liberal Party masters in Sydney would accept Don Page represents Byron Shire, who are potentially 90% in opposition to this," Cr Richardson said.
"The Liberal-Nationals have almost the highest majority in NSW history. The party would lose nothing by him speaking with a bit of courage for his residents."
Byron Shire now has two prospective CSG licences - the other held by Arrow Energy - covering all of the shire except for the far west.
Further meetings in Federal and Bangalow are being planned for next week.
Mr Page has arranged a meeting in partnership with MP Thomas George and four other ministers at Lismore City Hall at 10am on Wednesday at which a group of scientists will address those with concerns in relation to CSG.
"I would encourage anyone who has concerns to attend that meeting," Mr Page said.
He also defended the recently released NSW CSG policy.
"A lot of consultation went into the development of that policy and a whole lot of preventative measures have been put in place ... it's all got to be done without any threat to the water supplies."