Elliot accuses Fraser of being 'strong supporter' of CSG

Justine Elliot
Justine Elliot

RICHMOND MP Justine Elliot has told the federal Parliament the federal election will be a "referendum on coal seam gas" on the New South Wales North Coast.

Ms Elliot is locked in a fierce battle with Nationals candidate Matthew Fraser to retain her seat, which she holds by a margin of almost 7%.

During an adjournment debate on Tuesday night Ms Elliot accused Mr Fraser of being "one of the strongest supporters" of the CSG industry in the area.

"The fact is that this election is indeed a referendum on CSG mining on the North Coast, and the choice is very clear: a vote for me is a vote to stop CSG mining and a vote for Matthew Fraser is a vote to expand harmful CSG mining," Ms Elliot said.

In February Mr Fraser issued a statement in which he claimed CSG operations would not "suit the Richmond electorate" based on the Nationals' five core principles relating to the industry.

The principles relate to CSG not occurring in places where it would have an adverse impact on water resources or prime agricultural land, or near existing residential areas. The principles also call for landholders and regions where CSG is mined to receive a financial return.

"I do not believe that it is possible for CSG operations in Richmond to meet these criteria and I will not be supporting any such proposal," Mr Fraser's statement read.

Meanwhile, the Greens have renewed calls for the major parties to support an amendment to the government's water trigger bill that would give landholders the right to lock out CSG companies.

Greens mining spokeswoman Larissa Waters will move the amendment in the Senate.

"If Tony Abbott is serious about giving landholder rights against coal seam gas, his senators will support my amendment," Senator Waters said.

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