CSG activists a bunch of “retired ex-Sixties protestors”

A New South Wales MP has labelled CSG activists as “a whole bunch of retired ex-Sixties protestors”.

The comments were made by Nationals MP for the Federal seat of Hunter, Michael Johnsen.

Johnsen accused some activists of misrepresenting the facts regarding CSG, ABC reported.

"There's a whole bunch of retired ex-Sixties protestors who saw that as a bit of a vocation for themselves when they were a young set and now they're well cashed up, they've got a lot of time and this is their latest cause," he said.

"They're filling an information void and they shouldn't be allowed to fill that information void.

"The information void should be filled by the facts, not the fear."

They comments after the NSW National Party’s conference in the Hunter Valley over the weekend.

At the conference, debate raged over whether to end the CSG industry in the state’s north.

"It has been made very clear that [the northern rivers] community does not want CSG," Leader of the NSW Nationals, Troy Grant said before the conference.

However despite a lengthy debate, the conference declined to vote for a motion that would recognise community opposition to CSG and endorse a plan to buy back licences.

Gasfield Free Northern Rivers co-ordinator Dean Draper said the community has been left confused by the decision not to vote on the matter, The Northern Star reported.

"The community of the Northern Rivers are more confused than ever as to where the National Party stands on CSG mining in our region," Draper said.

"A motion put forward by Chris Gulaptis to talk about buying back all of the licences in the region did not even get sufficient support to be put to a vote.”

 NSW Premier Mike Baird said CSG licence buy-backs were already occurring in the state.

Under a Gas Plan released last year, the state government has suspended dozens of CSG licence applications and bought back a number of CSG licences across the state.

The government said it will seek to reduce the land covered by CSG titles from 60 per cent of the state to just 15 per cent and titles would be removed from National Parks.

"We're undertaking buy backs," Baird said.

"You can't just rip up licences […] we're doing it in a way that maintains the integrity of the state as an investment destination."

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