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Richmond seat rivals swap blows on CSG

A first: Richmond MP Justine Elliott.
A first: Richmond MP Justine Elliott.

RICHMOND MP Justine Elliot has called on a candidate for September's federal election to state his position on coal seam gas.

The call from Mrs Elliot comes a week after Matthew Fraser said the Member for Richmond should resign from the Labor Party if she was serious about stopping CSG in the electorate.

"He needs to come clean and tell locals what he thinks; not what National Party headquarters in Sydney tells him to say," Mrs Elliot said.

"To date Matthew Fraser has been hiding behind weasel words rather than actually giving an honest answer to the question: Does he support CSG mining on the North Coast?"

Mr Fraser said Mrs Elliot's opposition to coal seam gas mining had only come since an election had been called.

"My position has never backflipped," Mr Fraser said. "I will answer that question (on CSG) when Mrs Elliot comes clean."

Earlier this week Mr Fraser said Mrs Elliot's statements on CSG were "extremely hypocritical", stating he thought she was trying to make people believe she could make a difference. "Once she joins her colleagues in the Labor Party's caucus room, she'll have to toe the party line and support Labor policy.

"Tony Burke and his Federal Labor Party colleagues are clearly committed to forging ahead with these 110 new CSG mines.

"Mrs Elliot's sudden standpoint is a stunt, plain and simple, and will not contribute one iota to reversing Labor's plans to open up NSW, and in turn the Richmond electorate, to CSG mining."

Mrs Elliot said Mr Fraser's demand for her resignation showed he "just isn't up to the job of being a candidate".


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