_Federal Nationals candidate for Page, Kevin Hogan, has joined other North Coast communities in calling for a moratorium on coal seam gas exploration in the region.
Mr Hogan says he’s had increasing reservations about CSG and does not support the industry on the Northern Rivers while ever environmental and social questions remain unanswered.
He says his recent tour of the gas fields in Tara, Queensland combined with his own research and consultation have caused him to have ‘grave concerns’ about CSG production.
“There’s questions about water and aquifer contamination and now increasingly air pollution.
“We all live in different types of areas…and I think in our area…with the infrastructure needed…I can’t see it’s going to fit on small land properties around here, it’s going to be very invasive for neighbouring properties and for the community in general.
Contrasting to his position on CSG at the 2010 election, Mr Hogan says he will ‘loudly’ oppose any attempts to water down regulations on the industry.
“In the last election campaign no one spoke to me about CSG…but obviously over the last two years…we are obviously getting more information about it, the industry was maturing here and starting to have production wells and we started to hear stories, certainly we’ve all had an evolution process with this.”
The Nationals candidate says regulations introduced by the State Government don’t go far enough.
“I think at the moment the science is still out a bit, especially on the air quality issues…I think we need to pause or freeze the industry until some of those questions are answered.”
Mr Hogan says he would support any legislation that will safeguard the Northern Rivers from CSG, including crossing the floor of parliament on any CSG related issue, if necessary.
“I think there are potentially things in Federal Parliament that could come up within in the environmental protection and bio-diversity act.
“If there was something put up that was trying to restrict or make the environmental things stronger in Federal Parliament, I would vote for it”.
Source ABC News