ALP gives some CSG cash back to Santos

LABOR has handed back a donation from coal seam gas company Santos after being called out for ever accepting it.

Now The Greens are demanding Labor trawls through its ledgers to return the rest of the $90,000 the company has donated to Labor's federal branch over the past two years.

Santos spent the now-returned $2200 on tickets to a dinner last month with Labor leader Luke Foley and Kogarah candidate Chris Minns - a newcomer widely purported to be preparing for a leadership role.

Ballina candidate Paul Spooner issued a statement saying the funds had been sent back to reaffirm NSW Labor's "unequivocal policy position to ban CSG mining across the North Coast forever".

Santos responded that their interests fell outside the North Coast, in Narrabri.

"Santos complies with all election funding disclosure requirements and discloses all political spend, whether thresholds are reached or not," it said.

Greens mining spokesman Jeremy Buckingham caused the stir when he highlighted the donations.

He has since argued Labor would have to return $90,000 if it wanted to restore credibility.

"I am pleased that following the outcry from the Greens over their acceptance of toxic CSG cash, they have today decided to hand the money back," Mr Buckingham said.

"It is disappointing, however, that it took a public outcry to convince Labor to return the money, rather than Labor rejecting the donation in the first place."

Lismore Greens candidate Adam Guise took it further.

"But rather than hand it back, I suggest they do some good with the money, and as a penance, donate it to the Lock the Gate Alliance or Gasfield Free Northern Rivers," he said.

"So there's a way to constructively use big mining donations … pass them on to the people directly affected so they can use the money to campaign against the miners."