On Thursday July 24 the Grafton Nannas gathered to knit at a different venue - outside the Prince Street office of our Federal MP, Kevin Hogan, Member for Page. As two nannas were meeting with Mr Hogan to discuss the government's position on gas mining,it was decided a knit-in outside his Grafton office was a good idea.
While indicating they were pleased that Mr Hogan continued in his opposition to gas mining in the Page electorate, the Nannas outlined some of their concerns about statements made by politicians such as the Prime Minister and the Minister for Industry wholeheartedly supporting the gas mining industry.
Their concern about this was reiterated in a letter handed to Mr Hogan during the meeting. The text of part of this letter is printed below:
We consider that far too often politicians and their governments, which are supposed to represent their constituents, are more interested in representing "the big end of town" to the detriment of the ordinary people. In using the excuse of the importance of the economic advantages of developments such as gas-mining will bring, they ignore the detrimental social, economic and environmental consequences which will have long-term effects on the general community.
We believe that you could play a very valuable role in educating those politicians in the Federal Government who are such enthusiastic supporters of gas mining. As well as explaining why so many people oppose this industry, you could show them that these opponents are a diverse group across the community - not just the so-called "itinerants" and "ratbags" that some of your ill-informed colleagues choose to label them.
An additional service you could perform for your constituents would be to educate your Northern Rivers State National colleagues who are only now showing some concern about the gas mining industry. We suggest you could arrange a fact-finding tour for them and yourself to a gas mining area in Queensland to speak to those farmers and other community members who are severely impacted by the industry. Lock the Gate Northern Rivers would, we are sure, be able to provide you with advice on a suitable area to inspect and information on a range of local people to speak to.
We suggest that you also extend the invitation to State Nationals Leader Andrew Stoner who is certainly in need of education on this issue. As Minister for the North Coast his attendance would be an added advantage.
We urge you to take up these suggestions in educating your colleagues. If you do so, you will be performing a very valuable service to your constituents and to many other concerned community members around the country.
After the discussion with the two Nannas, Mr Hogan joined the Nannas outside to be presented with a Nanna beanie knitted by Nanna Trinette and a photo with the Nannas.
The Nannas enjoyed very much the new venue and the chats they had with passers-by. But they will be returning to their old "haunt" outside the office of Chris Gulaptis. They don't want our State MP to think they are neglecting him!
SERIOUS KNITTING NANNAS HARD AT WORK
AND THE DECORATIONS