Nats candidate opposes CSG
PAGE Nationals candidate Kevin Hogan has spoken out against coal seam gas drilling, saying he would not want a gas well "on or near" his farm.
The statement released last night puts Mr Hogan at odds with his North Coast Nationals colleagues who have striven to defend coal seam gas drilling and the NSW Coalition's safeguards to protect land and water quality.
Mr Hogan said he would argue his point with local Natonals state MPs such as Lismore MP Thomas George and Ballina MP Don Page.
Mr Hogan's statement followed a tour of gas fields at Tara and Kogan, north west of Toowoomba.
"I went to the CSG fields in Queensland with reservations about the industry and returned with grave concerns," Mr Hogan said.
"The infrastructure is incredibly invasive and properties are devalued when CSG is next door. Given farms are much smaller in our region the impact would be even greater."
Mr Hogan said legislation from the NSW Government intended to prevent environmental damage could not guarantee the protection of aquifers or avoid problems with air polution.
"Whilst the introduction of state regulations here in NSW was a positive step, I have not been convinced that the policy is strong enough," he said.
"After I had researched, listened to both sides and seen CSG production firsthand, I asked myself if I would like a well on or near my property. The answer is no. I run a cattle property in the area and I would not want CSG on or near my farm.
"I cannot support the CSG industry here on the North Coast while there are still so many environmental and social question marks."
While coal seam gas was governed by the states, Mr Hogan said he would "loudly oppose" any attempt to reduce protections from coal seam gas drilling and back any Legislation that increased protections. He said he would be prepared, if elected in September and if it came up in Federal Parliament, to cross the floor over the issue if necessary.
Mr Hogan's statement follows Richmond MP Justine Elliot's decision to quit her job as a parliamentary secretary and moved to the back bench so she could speak out about coal seam gas.
Read Mr Hogan's full statement here.