Justine Elliot defends her stand against CSG
STANDING down as parliamentary Secretary for Trade to take a stand against CSG mining is a radical move on the part of Richmond MP Justine Elliot.
It begs the question - is this a political ploy for votes or a heartfelt quest to rid her electorate of a threat?
Our exclusive online poll showed 87% support her decision.
With politicians at all levels jumping on the CSG bandwagon, the Daily News talked to Mrs Elliot yesterday, to find out where she sits on the line between politics and passion.
"I can say without hesitation that I am passionate about CSG mining in my electorate," she said.
"I live here.
"My children are here and I want to protect the future for them and for the people of Richmond.
"It's a fact that chemicals used to extract gases can be harmful and can impact on our water tables.
"There are many well-informed people making a stand against CSG mining.
"But it is also an emotional issue."
Mrs Elliot said the results of the My Daily News poll did not surprise her.
"This is a diverse region," she said.
"While it varies demographically, the one issue that concerns everyone across the board is the possible impact of coal seam gas mining.
"They are concerned about the environmental impact and the effect on their health and water.
"I know the majority says no to CSG. And I say 'if in doubt, leave it out.'
"Once the damage is done, there's no going back. Why take that risk?"
When asked if her stance on CSG would take her to the front line in protest rallies, Mrs Elliot said her role would be to keep pressure on the Nationals as an advocate in parliament.
"The Prime Minister understands my stance," she said.
"But we are very limited at a federal level. The state government regulates mining licensing."
She said her main concern was the region.
"If you don't listen to the people and act on their concerns as an MP, then you are not doing your job.
"The threat of CSG mining is one of the biggest issues here.
"You are either for or against it. There is no muddy water here."
She said the Nationals were "hiding out" on the issue.
"They won't take action."
Mrs Elliot said she had no intention of running as an independent in the coming federal election.
"I am a proud member of the Labor Party," she said.
"I am a firm believer in Labor values.
"We work to give people opportunities and have huge plans ahead."
Did Justine Elliot do the right thing resigning from her role as parliamentary secretary for trade?
This poll ended on 28 February 2013.
This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.