News

Council takes a side on unconventional gas

Richmond Valley Council has reviewed its ‘neutral’ positioning statement.
Richmond Valley Council has reviewed its ‘neutral’ positioning statement. Patrick Gorbunovs

RICHMOND Valley Council has taken a strong position against unconventional gas mining in the area after reviewing its 'neutral' positioning statement.

A motion put up by councillor Daniel Simpson was supported five votes to two, with Mayor Ernie Bennett and councillor Col Sullivan voting against it.

The motion states: "That the Richmond Valley Council believes that given its current understandings and existing knowledge base around the unconventional gas industry, the potential effects on the environment, the uncertainty surrounding fracking and the strongly expressed community views against the unconventional gas industry, that it cannot support the development of the unconventional gas industry in this local government area at this time. Further to this, that council affirms its strong opposition to fracking in any form."

The council's position is largely symbolic given that the State Government regulates mining and exploration activity, but it does bring Richmond Valley Council in line with Lismore, Ballina, Byron and Kyogle councils, which have all previously taken positions against the development of the industry in the Northern Rivers.

Cr Simpson, who ran for election on Richmond Valley Council with the Lock The Gate logo on his promotional material, said it was time for the council to take a stronger stand.

"Hopefully it creates a bit of a unified voice with the rest of the Northern Rivers that we don't want this in our area," he said.

Cr Bennett said he would now put forward the council's position, but he would also put his own point of view forward.

"As mayor it is my job to represent the whole community," he said.

"I have had a number of calls (seven) from people thanking me from people who want the industry...

"There is a message that industry could feel unsure of the future if council chops and changes its position. It's not good for any industry," he said.

Metgasco chief executive Peter Henderson said the company was "clearly disappointed" by the council's vote.

"In the past the council has maintained a position of neutrality, which we believed was prudent.

"It is clearly a concern, but we are confident that our industry is safe."

Mr Henderson said the wording in the council's motion that it didn't support CSG "given its current understandings and existing knowledge base" indicated the council could change its mind in the future with more information.

He also said Metgasco would continue to work with Richmond Valley councillors "as part of our regular process" and all future dealings would remain professional.

Gasfield Free Northern Rivers spokesman Dean Draper called the council's decision a "watershed moment".

"The turnaround in council's position is a direct response to the dedicated actions of local community members who have been tireless in their efforts to raise awareness about the risks of this industry and seek support from council to represent their concerns," Mr Draper said.

Topics:  richmond valley council unconventional gas



Going organic: $4m university research centre announced

Southern Cross university and NSW Dept Primary Industries celebrate their coming together to create the Centre for Organics Research at the Lismore campus. L-R Prof Graham King, Vice Chancellor Prof Adam Shoemaker, Dr Phil Wright, Deputy Vice Chancellor Research Prof Geraldine Mackenzie, Chancellor Nick Burton Taylor AM, Hon Thomas George MP and Lorraine Gordon.

Shedding its hippy roots, organic food goes under the microscope

3.5m great white shark spotted near divers

Mark Ross took this photo off Shelly Beach, Ballina, this morning, of what is believed to be a boat installing shark nets.

DPI promises measures to reduce deaths of "non target" animals

Festival sale will 'ruin' Byron Bay: LETTER

The Falls Festival at North Byron Parklands.

"Byron will be ruined and ratepayers will carry the costs"

Local Partners

Shannen Doherty's husband is suing for destroyed sex life

Shannen Doherty's husband is suing her former manager

Festival sale will 'ruin' Byron Bay: LETTER

The Falls Festival at North Byron Parklands.

"Byron will be ruined and ratepayers will carry the costs"

Azealia Banks' battery case against Russell Crowe dropped

Russell Crowe will not be charged with battery

Lismore's carols get the X Factor

Sydney pop duo Jess Dunbar and Matt Price, known from the 2015 season of Australia’s X Factor, will perform at the 2016 Shopbaby Carols in the Heart at Lismore.

X Factor stars Jess and Matt to headline the family event

Mel Gibson named Best Director at AACTA Awards

Mel Gibson poses in the media room after winning the AACTA Award for Best Direction for Hacksaw Ridge.

HIS wartime drama Hacksaw Ridge sweeps 6th annual awards in Sydney.

Mark Hamill unaware his co-stars were romantically involved

Hamill too "self-involved" at the time to notice, he said

INSIDE STORY: The highlights of your $150 million CBD

GRAND PLAN: The highlights of the Ipswich CBD redevelopment and where they will be located.

Work on city heart's radical transformation to begin next year

VOTE IN OUR POLL: Sand mine opponents face serious dilemma

Public meeting for the proposed sand mine at Maroochydore last week.

Coast MP calls on Minister to stop KRA proposal with stroke of a pen

Developer's grand new multi-million dollar estate

NEW ESTATE: This is the only plan revealed by the property developer's new Billabongs Estate in Agnes Water.

DEVELOPER given the go ahead for a massive estate with 149 homes.

Banks reclaim Gladstone homes as job losses bite

LONG FALL: Property experts Heron Todd say, based on key market indicators, Gladstone is still travelling to the bottom of the market, with property prices set to get cheaper.

Property valuers say Gladstone housing market hasn't hit the bottom

The million dollar property to test Mackay's market

This Victoria St building will go to auction Tuesday and investors will be watching closely to see how much it sells for.

'High profile architect designed CBD asset' goes to auction

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!