Knitting Nannas meet the Wollongong candidates knit-in

November 5, 2016

The Illawarra Knitting Nannas Against Gas (IKNAG) quizzed candidates in the November 12 Wollongong by-election in a Meet the Candidates knit-in on October 29.

“Right now the Stop CSG fight is neither won nor lost,” said Nanna Annie Marlow. “After passing legislation a year ago on its Strategic Release Framework the Baird government has stalled. One year on there is not a murmur from Parliament House of where they intend to allow coal seam gas mining in NSW and the Nannas are nervous because there is no area in the state that is protected.”

Nanna Cherry Hardaker added: “After the government bought back CSG licenses from the mining companies at great expense to the public purse, there still is no move to legislate a permanent ban to protect our most vulnerable areas, our water catchments. CSG mining licenses can be reissued anytime.”

The Nannas invited the five candidates to the “knit-in” to discuss their position on CSG mining in NSW. To clarify the issue for voters the Nannas asked for “yes/no” answers to these four questions:

1. Do you support a ban on coal seam gas mining in the drinking water catchment?

2. Would you vote for legislation for a permanent ban on coal seam gas mining in the drinking water catchment?

3. Would you move legislation for a permanent ban on coal seam gas mining in the drinking water catchment?

4. Would you support a ban on unconventional gas development in NSW, similar to the one announced in Victoria?

Three candidates responded. Greens candidate Cath Blakey answered “yes” to all questions.

“The Greens” said Nanna Shirley Gadding, “have answered ‘yes’ to all our questions since we started monitoring candidates two elections ago. They are consistent and their policies and their performance in parliament is in solid agreement with our efforts to ensure protection of our water from the risks of CSG mining for future generations.”

Independent candidate and current mayor, Gordon Bradbury also answered “yes”’ to all questions. But Labor candidate Paul Scully answered “yes” to the first three questions only. He says he is constrained by party policy and unable to answer “yes” to the question of a blanket ban for the whole state.

“It would appear” said Nanna Annie, “that NSW Labor is not as brave as Vic Labor. However, NSW Labor may well see the political benefit in protecting our water, land, air and climate from the ravages of CSG mining that is devastating to large areas of Queensland and the US.”

The Nannas say they have failed dismally in their efforts to contact the remaining two candidates. Colleen Baxter, the Christian Democrat Party’s candidate, is apparently on a cruise and is not contactable. Facebook messages and phone calls to Joe Rossi and his party, the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers, have not been answered.

“It’s frustrating,” said the Nannas. “What else can we say? I guess they just don’t want to talk to us.”

Like the article? Subscribe to Green Left now! You can also like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

You need Green Left, and we need you!

Green Left is funded by contributions from readers and supporters. Help us reach our funding target.

Make a One-off Donation or choose from one of our Monthly Donation options.

Become a supporter to get the digital edition for $5 per month or the print edition for $10 per month. One-time payment options are available.

You can also call 1800 634 206 to make a donation or to become a supporter. Thank you.