GREENS candidate for Clarence, Janet Cavanaugh.
GREENS candidate for Clarence, Janet Cavanaugh.

CSG bubbling up as major issue

THE prospect of coal seam gas and antimony mining in the Clarence electorate should be the main campaign issues in the Clarence by-election, said Greens candidate Janet Cavanaugh.

Ms Cavanaugh, who resigned from her government job  to contest the election, said she would attend a campaign meeting to work through campaign issues, but the threat posed to water supplies and industries was already shaping up as a major concern.

"We are working off 20-year-old legislation brought in by the last Coalition government," she said.

"We need to develop better protection of our catchments, the environment and industries.

"Some of the mining companies are behaving as if they don't need to comply with other environmental legislation when they are doing exploration.

"There is the risk posed by antimony mining on the Dorrigo Plateau to the Coffs-Clarence regional water supply and our estuarine fisheries, and the potential for coal seam gas exploration to drain and poison groundwater reserves as well as wreck important farming land and wildlife habitat.

"Mining needs to be better regulated, to limit these potential impacts. The Greens have introduced a bill to create a 12-month moratorium on coal seam gas exploration across NSW and are calling for a ban on mining within important water catchments.

"The major parties seem unable, or unwilling, to act to protect our land and our water."

Ms Cavanaugh said the Greens were developing a reputation that stretched beyond environmental issues.

"We are seen as having integrity and of being willing to take a stand on issues," she said.

"The major parties seem tarnished by doing deals with their mates, many of whom are now working as lobbyists in fields like mining."

Ms Cavanaugh contested the general election in March and said she wanted to improve on her vote.

She was encouraged by improved national polling over the past week but "I'm a little sceptical of polling".

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