Coalition only ‘pretending’ to support primary producers

INDEPENDENT MP Tony Windsor has hit out at the Coalition over a bill to include water resources in environmental assessments of coal seam gas and big mining projects.

While the Coalition supported the bill in the House of Representatives, the party has been fighting an amendment Mr Windsor put to ensure the water powers were not passed to state governments.

He said the attempt to weaken the water trigger was "yet another example of the Liberal and National parties telling farmers one thing but actually doing the opposite".

Coal seam gas is shaping as a key issue in Mr Windsor political fight in his New South Wales electorate against Nationals Senate Leader Barnaby Joyce.

Mr Windsor said the lack of support for his amended bill in the Senate showed the Coalition was only 'pretending' to support primary producers.

Senate debate over the bill was suspended on Wednesday until further notice.