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Media Release: Northern Rivers CSG scorecard released: National Party must act

An alliance of people and community groups from across the Northern Rivers region has this week released a scorecard of political parties’ responses to crucial questions about unconventional gas in the region, revealing a major gap in National Party policy.

The Gasfield Free Northern Rivers (GFNR) scorecard process asked candidates in Clarence, Tweed, Lismore and Ballina to answer questions about cancelling unconventional gas exploration licences in the region, and ensuring the region remains gasfield free.

The results are stark: the National Party was the only party to not make commitments to protect the region from unconventional gas, and GFNR is calling for the National Party to act to make a gasfield free Northern Rivers bipartisan policy and put the issue to bed for good.

Candidate answers and a summary are available online here: http://www.gasfieldfreenorthernrivers.org/nswvotes/

Elly Bird from Gasfield Free Northern Rivers said, “We thank the candidates that responded to the community’s simple questions about CSG policy, but are very disappointed that no National Party candidates gave answers to our questions.

“The National Party has been distributing flyers in the Northern Rivers proclaiming ‘CSG: we don’t want it here’ and in recent days some petroleum exploration licences have been bought back by the State Government, but the Government has already renewed Metgasco’s most active CSG licence areas as well as the largest licence area in the region, which covers Lismore, Nimbin and Kyogle and parts of the water supply area of major towns across the region, including Ballina and Byron Bay,” she said.

“We welcome the idea that the Nationals don’t want unconventional gas  in the Northern Rivers – the overwhelming majority of people in the region agree — but we need to see them adopt a policy that will prevent unconventional gas development in our region, not just hand out misleading election flyers,” said Dean Draper, Gasfield Free spokesperson.

“Other parties have committed to a gasfield free Northern Rivers. We want this to be a non-issue on 28 March because all political parties have recognised that this region has comprehensively rejected this dangerous industry and are calling on the Government to act now to cancel all the licences and act in accordance with the public’s expectation,” he said.Licence_renewals_by_Nats

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