CLARENCE MP Chris Gulaptis has called on his own government to ban coal seam gas from the Northern Rivers.
Mr Gulaptis used his first speech in the new NSW Parliament to give the Liberal-Nationals two options - either appeal a Supreme Court decision to allow Metgasco to resume drilling at Bentley or totally prohibit CSG activity in the region.
"The community wants a gas field-free Northern Rivers. I support my community and I support this proposition," he said.
"I have urged the government to explore every opportunity to appeal the decision of the Supreme Court.
"Should this not be an option, then I firmly believe that the government has the capacity to deliver a gas field-free Northern Rivers through the NSW Gas Plan.
"I urge the government to investigate, as a matter of urgency, every option available to do so, starting with the Metgasco licence."
If the LNP chose to ban all CSG licences in the Northern Rivers, it would fly in the face of the party's pre-election position - a stance which cost it thousands of votes and, arguably, the seat of Ballina.
Regardless, Mr Gulaptis said the community expected and deserved security on the issue.
"These are people from all walks of life, like the Knitting Nannas who sit outside my office every Tuesday afternoon, the farmers who rely on the clean, green reputation we have in the Northern Rivers to market their produce, and just ordinary townsfolk who are concerned about the future for their grandkids," he said.
"These are not extremists, just everyday people from my electorate.
"There is something very fundamentally wrong when 6000 or 7000 people are prepared to confront 1000 police because they feel so concerned about the impacts of the CSG industry - that it is an industry which is incompatible with our traditional agricultural industries, that it is wrong for the Northern Rivers and that it is dangerous to our environment.
"Confrontation of this magnitude is not the way we conduct business in any jurisdiction in Australia, nor is it acceptable or appropriate to conduct business like this in the electorate of Clarence."
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