Member for Clarence Chris Gulaptis is reserving his decision to move to the crossbench until a review of the Koala Habitat Protection State Environmental Planning Policy (SEPP) is finalised.
Mr Gulaptis previously made it clear he does not support the SEPP, which was introduced by the NSW Government in March.
In early September, he announced he was prepared to move to the crossbench, citing he “will not be part of a Government that is responsible for destroying rural businesses, throwing country workers on the scrapheap and killing regional communities”.
As NSW Nationals Leader and Deputy Premier John Barilaro made headlines on September 11 by making and subsequently withdrawing threats to separate the Nationals from the Coalition due to disagreements regarding the SEPP, Mr Gulaptis remained firm in his determination to always stand up for regional communities.
“This has always been about good policy,” he said.
“The SEPP, in its current form, does not balance protecting koalas with property rights.”
Mr Gulaptis previously said he is hopeful a review of the SEPP guidelines can reach a compromise where koalas can be protected without impacting on the rural businesses needed to sustain regional communities.
In a joint statement, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian and Mr Barilaro said the policy would be dealt with at a future Cabinet meeting.
“I’m glad it’s going to be reviewed,” Mr Gulaptis said.
“This is such an important policy for regional communities and I will always stand up for them.”
Crossing to the crossbench for local communities: www.clarencevalleynews.com.au/crossing-to-the-crossbench-for-local-communities