14 11 2011
INDEPENDENT Lyne MP Rob Oakeshott says the National Party’s absence during a Senate vote on its own coal-seam gas policy is inexplicable.
“At the start of the week, the National Party belatedly outlined its blueprint for coal-seam gas development in Australia,” Mr Oakeshott said.
“It’s very first principle was: No coal-seam gas development should proceed where it poses a significant impact to the quality of groundwater or surface water systems. It must be absolutely clear that no coal-seam gas development should occur unless it is proven safe for the environment.
“Seventy-two hours later, the Nationals’ core principle, word for word, was put to the Senate and was voted down by the Liberal Party and the Labor Party.
“Worse still, the five National Party senators failed to show.
“The community has every right to ask how serious is the National Party on resolving the land management conflict between farmers and miners when they couldn’t be bothered to even turn up to vote for their own policy.
“An awful lot of waxing seems to have occurred since the hairy-chested position of the party’s federal leader just three days earlier.
“This would be a first in Australian politics – where a political party has failed to vote for their own policy announcement of the same week,” Mr Oakeshott said.
“Actions certainly speak louder than words in politics, and the Nationals’ absence in Parliament is not lost on the communities of the Manning Valley, the Camden Haven and the Gloucester Basin.”