Sunday, 9 October 2011

O'Farrell Government shows open contempt towards NSW North Coast communities

Living in regional New South Wales often leads one to suspect that any state government of the day and its minsters rarely display an understanding of (or empathy with)  the aspirations, problems or concerns of distant local communities.

This was clearly demonstrated when a question raising concerns on behalf of residents and ratepayers living on the NSW North Coast in the Dorrigo, Belligen, Coffs Harbour and Clarence Valley districts was put to the Coalition Government in the NSW Legislative Council last month.

Highlighted below the contemptuous, party-politics-before-people response which was given by the O’Farrell Government:

The Hon. JEREMY BUCKINGHAM: My question is directed to the Minister for Finance and Services, representing the Minister for the Environment. I thank the Minister for his detailed answer previously revealing that the Macleay River has been contaminated by the Hillgrove antimony mine for millennia—which is thousands of years, in case he does not remember. Ancoa has a proposal to reopen the Hillgrove antimony mine responsible for much of this contamination. Anchor Resources plans a new antimony mine at Wild Cattle Creek at the top of the Nymboida River. Given the toxicity of antimony and history of contamination, what is the Government doing to ensure that these mines will not further contaminate the Macleay River and contaminate the Nymboida River?

The Hon. GREG PEARCE: Last week I commented upon the member's North Korean controller and the need to translate his questions from Korean to code, then from code to Korean, and then from Korean to English. I said that his questions are garbled. If anyone could make sense of that question, I invite them to answer it for me. I could not follow it at all—I really could not. I invite the member to put the question on notice to get a detailed answer.

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