Elliot attacks Vaile on water pumping
RICHMOND MP Justine Elliot has accused deputy prime minister Mark Vaile of misleading local residents. Mrs Elliot said Mr Vaile, who is the Federal Leader of the National Party, denied on Northern Rivers ABC Radio that it was his government that had requested a study into piping water from the Northern Rivers area to Queensland's Gold Coast. She said it was Mr Vaile's parliamentary colleague Malcolm Turnbull who had requested the study. "This is a Federal National/ Liberal Party plan and this is a study undertaken at their request," Mrs Elliot said. "I demand that Mark Vaile immediately apologise to the people of the Northern rivers for this blatant attempt at shifting the blame away from his own government. Ms Elliot called on Mr Vaile to come clean on his government's plans to take precious water from the Clarence and Tweed rivers to be used by the overdeveloped Gold Coast. "I want Mark Vaile to come clean on this issue - What role did he play in devising this plan, and why does the National party continue to support it? "Why does the National Party always put the Liberal party's interests before the interests of locals? "This is an act of betrayal by the National Party. The fact is they are more interested in their Liberal mates than standing up for locals. "Our community is rightly concerned over the Howard/Vaile Government's plans to pipe NSW water to the Qld Gold Coast," she said. "I have had an overwhelming response to my community petition objecting to the water grab, and together we will stop this plan. "These rivers are the lifeblood of our communities and support many local jobs in our farming, tourism and fishing industries. "I'm very much opposed to local water being used at the expense or our region, and at the potential cost of our river's health."