Nats candidate taking “easy” path: Saffin
PAGE Nationals candidate Kevin Hogan's opposition to coal seam gas has been questioned by the woman whose job he wants.
Mr Hogan yesterday released a statement saying he would oppose coal seam gas and would go as far as crossing the floor of Parliament to vote against any move to reduce protections or to back moves to increase protections.
However, Page MP Janelle Saffin, who was already on the record opposing coal seam gas drilling, has this afternoon released her own statement saying Mr Hogan's position was an "easy" one to take given the discontent within the community to CSG.
"I opposed it when it was not so easy to do. For Kevin to do so now with an election on the radar means he could be accused of political positioning to seek a personal advantage," Ms Saffin said.
"It is easy to support an issue when it's hot.
"National Party members I know have been disgusted and feeling hoodwinked by their Party, and not renewing memberships.
"I've been told that there are local farmers who are sceptical about Mr Hogan's new position after sitting on the fence for so long.
"I saw him dancing with Metgasco in 2010 whey they made media announcements with his campaign office as a backdrop.
"For someone who claims to have had concerns for two years, he was very quiet on the issue the whole time that I was speaking out."
However, Mr Hogan defended his position, saying he was "extremely disappointed Ms Saffin has decided to be combative about this, I would have thought she would welcome the decision".
And Mr Hogan hit back with some combative language of his own.
"Lets not forget it was her State Labor Government that Granted 44 CSG exploration and production licences with no regulations to protect the Environment. Zero," he said.
"Despite all her talk on this issue, her Energy and Resource Minister publicly intends to 'remove impediments' to the CSG industry, and her Environment Minister only yesterday approved 110 CSG wells in Northern NSW."
"Make no mistake; Labor wants CSG."
"If Janelle Saffin wants to attack me on my stance, she needs to come clean on whether she will cross the floor, or vote with her Government."