We start the conversation.
Let the science and the facts inform the answer but remember, 
the maths doesn't lie.
​Darren Chester MP 
National Party representative for federal seat of Gippsland since June 2008

The following list is how Darren voted in federal parliament on certain issues. 
I have only included what I believe is relevant to what I do and advocate for and what I believe our Gippsland community and farmers should be aware of. 
The National Party's 'ideology' is in support of the health of the land to sustain agriculture. 
But is how Darren voted a true representation of what his electorate wants and needs or has it more to do with extending his career to the detriment of his constituency?
After all, without a healthy environment you cannot have a healthy economy.
Please go to link how do they vote for further enlightening of many other issues. 

#Note - Darren often says that resource development  is a state matter which is wrong.
There is a direct and indirect line of authority to his federal domain that now has federal policy being the single biggest determinant and threat to agriculture in Gippsland as we know it. 
Coalition Federal policy: 
  • promote all coal, gas and export of, meaning the states can approve licences for companies to hold security of tenure on our properties to the financial risk of our future viability.
  • has control over carbon emission reductions and funding enabling 'schemes' to flourish
  • introduced biomass into the renewable energy target meaning our forests can be further logged
  • provide grant funding for new coal technologies which means new coal pits in depleted groundwater areas of Gippsland and gasification of coal is worthy of taxpayer funding.

How did Darren vote?


  • An emissions reduction fund  
Currently, the taxpayers will be shelving out billions of dollars to facilitate and subsidise a burgeoning fossil fuel energy future and the pain will only get worse if the Coalition government is returned.
The Emissions Reductions Fund uses public money to reward polluters to emit less while doing nothing to reduce overall emissions. Now, Turnbull is considering further funding in future budgets because there just won’t be enough in the coffers to pay polluters to stop polluting.
The Australian Industry Group, which represents more than 60,000 businesses, including those in transport, manufacturing and mining supplies, said if the Emissions Reduction Fund was the sole method used to reach the target, this would cost between $100 billion and $250 billion in nominal terms in the decade to 2030.

  • ​Unconventional gas mining
Darren voted for the One Stop Shop (OSS) model via the EPBC Bilateral agreement that I lobbied against in Canberra. Ricky Muir tried really hard for the federal government to retain oversight for matters of national significance. For Gippsland, the main concerns are the Water Trigger (inappropriate use of our groundwater), threatened biodiversity and Ramsar sites (Gippsland Lakes and Corner Inlet), all under Darren's responsibility. 
This means that the state government would have control over all project approvals that concern matters of national significance. 
My specific interest is inappropriate earth resources development. This dept (Dept of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resource, DEDJTR) is tasked with being the promoter, referee and the beneficiary of new mining developments or expansions. 
That dept can't manage what they already have, eg. Morwell Mine fire and numerous Auditor Generals report of poor compliance, lacks of skills and resourcing.
As for supporting unconventional gas mining over agriculture needs to have Darren's rationale explained to farmers as Darren knows that our groundwater aquifer system is depleted from decades of offshore oil and gas extraction and dewatering of Latrobe Valley open cut coal mines. 
Darrens also needs to explain: 
  • where is all the water going to come from to prevent pitting miner against farmer for competing water entitlements 
  • where is all the produced wastewater going to be disposed off
  • how is he going to prevent further land and coastal subsidence
  • what does he classify as prime agricultural land and does this mean that anything not is open for gas exploitation under his rationale
  • how is he going to prevent significant land degradation 
  • how do you protect an aquifer
  • how do you 'make good' provisions to fix an aquifer.

Darren is supporting an onshore gas industry in Gippsland, because the two critical skills of commonsense and forethought were deliberately omitted from the decision making process to approve the Gladstone port and LNG gas export to the world. It was a bad decision then and is still a bad decision now.
​Does that mean that we, in Gippsland, have to make up the shortfall in contract commitments  because the federal and Queensland governments stuffed up.  Not on my watch!!! 
Ironically, we have the State Labor Party to thank for banning onshore gas for Victoria due to existing groundwater problems impacting farmers that Darren, as a National, was prepared to ignore.

With Darren's preference for onshore gas, he would also have to address the complications with the National Vendor Declarations (NVD) and chemical contamination liability of livestock unknown to the farmer because of mining developments on their land causing an increase in bio-security risks.  
To allow the  mining industry  and farming to co-exist Darren needs to initiate a change in legislation of the food safety codes to ensure protection of the farmers. Words just will not do!!!


  • A carbon price 
Very strange that since the carbon price was dumped by Tony Abbot (supported by Darren) polluting emissions have increased. Now, we know that the Federal Coalition are going to expand mining by stealth so, to reduce the emissions, Darren's team want to introduce carbon capture and storage (CCS) to capture the emissions. But to do that his government would have to put a price on carbon. Hypocrisy at its worst.

  • Ending illegal logging 
​Why on earth would Darren vote against ending illegal logging for he lives in one of the most pristine environments of valuable old growth forests and a huge attraction for eco-toruism and associated dollars. 

  • Increasing access under Freedom of Information law 
It is only fair that the little people can access FOI's to ensure transparency of decision makers. It is our basic right. Darren is making decisions on our behalf so he needs to explain why he voted against this. 

  • Increasing accessibility of government data and documents 
​Same as above. Seems we are not given the right to know why government decisions are made and how tax monies are spent and /or wasted so ABC and SBS can report on the discrepancies. Assuming ABC and SBS are not made totally impotent under Coalition rule. 

  • Increasing fishing restrictions 
​Does Darren think it is OK to have the big boats come into our waters and catch their annual quotas in one month and wonder why the local fishermen get angry when they nurture an ongoing sustainable supply and have it wiped out. How is that putting locals first?

  • Increasing investment in renewable energy 
So, is Darren the dinosaur of Gippsland? Not only does he support expanding gas onshore but he also supports coal and newer forms of coal. Turnbull has just redirected $3bn from the Clean Energy Fund to finance Turnbull's election promises - EXPOSED
The problem is Darren, coal still has to be extracted so the pits get bigger, groundwater is still bleed, air pollution is increased, waste water still needs to be disposed of and land and coastal subsidence will worsen, and the cycle goes on. 
Is that what Darren wants for his #lovegippsland campaign.

It is one thing to love Gippsland but is it another thing to actually vote to trash it. 

  • Increasing marine conservation 
Well, why would you need to protect the poor sea life from mining development and killing off their sea grasses when companies can use environmental offsets. You just need to put up a sign showing them to turn left 100kms down the coast and they'll find a nice little patch of seagrass elsewhere, until that is wiped out too. 

  • Increasing protection of Australia's fresh water 
​Darren would be very compromised on this one because of his suppport for fossil fuel expansion. 
Our many tributaries flowing into the Gippsland Lakes have been turned into sewered aqueducts from mining wastewater disposal all ending up in the Ramsar protected Lakes system. 

  • Restricting donations to political parties 
This says it all. If an independent can survive and be elected on their merits so should those of the bigger parties. But I do get that it would be hard to give up mega dollars willingly thrown at the candidates. But the question is do they expect favourable treatment in return?

  • The Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme 
​This is back in 2010 but 6 years on, Darren has got worse.
You can't promote gas and coal and support reducing the emissions while voting to make the taxpayers reward polluter. 


  • Decreasing ABC and SBS funding 
​Why would he vote for that as ABC and SBS are where you get the real news well known for its transparency and forcing our three levels of government and industry to be accountable. Something Darren should strive for.  


  • A minerals resource rent tax 
When you look at the amount of abandoned mines that have occurred under each states regulatory system the only time to keep the mining industry accountable is when they are making profits. The mining industry behemoths can avoid whatever they want once mining ends because the law allows for it. So now the taxpayer pays. How is that fair Darren?

  • Stopping tax avoidance or aggressive tax minimisation
Simply put, why? The little people pay their dues but the big boys do not. Can Darren explain why the community go without because the coffers are duped of billions. See Chervon tax avoidance
Assets owned by the people, for the people but profits made are denied to the people.


  • Privatising government assets
​That is Kennett incarnate. Private industry is to profit for the shareholders. There is always a down side that is not in the best interest of the community. It is more to do with government misdirecting taxpayer money that they need to sell off government assets to pay for their obligations. 


  • Increasing transparency of big business by making information public  
​Same as FOIs. Darren is definitely showing a portent for denying the public access to big business and government interaction.

  • Darren Chester has never voted against the majority of their party since entering Parliament in June 2008
​As far as I am concerned there are many issues that Darren Chester should have stood up for in his electorate. However, if he had, maybe he wouldn't have a ministry position right now! 
There is a very fine balance between career aspirations and the health and prosperity of your electorate.