Letter to the Editor - Tuesday, May 20: MPs a joke

I was almost speechless after reading a joint press release by North Coast National MPs, attempting to take credit for the suspension of Metgasco's exploration licence.

Their representation of their respective electorates, particularly Thomas George and Chris Gulaptis, over the entire life of this parliament and before has, in my opinion, been absolutely appalling.

They have brushed off concerns brought to them by thousands of people within their electorates, ignored petitions, referendums and polls, and twice presided over police action to break up peaceful protest action, and as late as a week ago were sitting idly by while plans were being made to bring in 800 riot police, complete with water cannon, mounted police and the dog squad to break up the Bentley blockade.

Clearly, the only reason for their about-face was the expression of community outrage against the proposed police action and overwhelming support for the protesters that would undoubtedly have seen them both thrown from office at the next election had this latest police action gone ahead.

Their claim that they approached "NSW Energy Minister Anthony Roberts and told him they believed the company had failed to engage in sufficient genuine and effective consultation with the community", is an absolute joke: The fact that it took them the best part of a decade to work that out, despite countless deputations by concerned citizens telling them exactly that, says it all.

I can only hope that the ICAC is not the only investigation that will now occur. In particular there needs to be a real inquiry into the potential impacts of fracking on ground water quality and supply, along with investigating methane leaks from fractured underground rock formations, and the associated health implications for those living in the vicinity.

John Edwards,
South Grafton

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