From the Newsroom

It took three years to collect this bag full of petitions, containing 10,433 signatures, which was due to be debated in the NSW Legislative council on August 5, however, Covid had other ideas. The August sitting dates are cancelled and are due to recommence on September 7 (dependent on Covid restrictions). Image: Contributed

Full report on mining debate next week

Geoff Helisma

The Independent will provide a report in next week’s paper, on the 10,000-signature petition – collected by the Clarence Catchment Alliance (CCA) No Mines Clarence Valley – debated in the NSW Legislative Assembly last Thursday, October 14.

Unfortunately, the Hansard record of the debate was not uploaded before the paper’s editorial deadline.

This was due to issues connected with Covid restrictions – staff and politicians working from home –that have slowed the production of the parliamentary transcripts.

“Wow, what a day it was yesterday, what a great debate, and what a relief that our community concerns were acknowledged,” CCA posted on its Facebook site last Friday, “and the house voted to have our petition noted.

“…We really thank you all so much for the part you’ve played in getting the petition there and we look forward to the next phase.”

Alliance coordinator Shea Fleming said her group intended to “catch up with our speakers from yesterday and debrief”.

She said that the CCA will “work out what it all means and what’s next” in their campaign.

Meanwhile, the Votes and Proceedings of the New South Wales Legislative Assembly for Thursday October 14, 2021 states: “Question proposed—That the House take note of the petition.

“Debate ensued.

“Question put and passed.”

Speakers to the debate, in order, were: Labor MP for Lismore Janelle Saffin, Nationals MP for Clarence Chris Gulaptis, Greens MP for Ballina Tamara Smith, Nationals MP for Bathurst Deputy Premier Paul Toole, Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party MP for Murray Helen Dalton and Nationals MP for Dubbo Dougald Saunders.

Ms Saffin, Ms Smith and Ms Dalton spoke in favour of “stop[ping] exploration or mining within the Clarence Valley and surrounding government area”; the Nationals MPs spoke against.