WHEN it comes to the contentious issue of coal seam mining (CSG), Clarence MP Chris Gulaptis stands firm: our food and water is the number one priority.
"We need to put in regulations and protection for our food and water supplies and if that can happen, and it's scientifically proven that CSG mining is not going to interfere with our food and water security, then this is fine on the basis that there's an access agreement between the mining company and the landholder because this is a major concern being raised by landholders. If not, it shouldn't happen," Mr Gulaptis said clarifying his position in the debate.
"What the government has done is put in place a lot of things that were never there before; it hasn't issued any new licences," he said.
"The government has banned certain chemicals and put a moratorium on fracking. The other thing it's done is entered into an agreement with the Commonwealth Government to be part of a scientific investigation into the CSG industry so it can be standardised across the country."
Mr Gulaptis said that the government had also recently completed an Upper House inquiry and had then handed down 35 recommendations.
"There's a lot of good stuff that's come out of those 35 recommendations," he said.
"What we have is a responsibility to protect our food and water but also responsibility to protect people who make an investment into this state. That's the balance we have to reach," he said.