CSG 'risk to mental health'

A NORTHERN Rivers-based clinical psychologist has warned coal seam gas poses a greater risk to the mental health of rural communities than bushfires, drought or economic recession.

Dr Wayne Somerville, who lives at Toonumbar, west of Kyogle, has been a clinical psychologist specialising in the area of trauma for 30 years.

He claimed coal seam gas devalued rural land and said the anxiety and fear caused by the encroachment of the industry will cause an increase in suicides, anger and violence.

"For a farmer the land is their life's work and the value of that land is often their only superannuation and the only legacy they have for their children," he said.

"My concern is that even though some people will react with depression and some will suicide, in the face of such massive losses of property wealth and their future, some people will react violently with anger and revenge."

Dr Somerville said people living in rural areas had, to date used their anxiety and fear constructively by organising petitions and protests, but he said that would change if the industry was allowed to progress.

"If the danger (of coal seam gas) remains, then the anger will either turn inward as depression or it will turn outward as anger and violence," he said.

"The anger that comes from being harmed by a person who doesn't care for you and means you ill is much harder to resolve than the trauma that comes due to natural disasters.

"Stories of ruined lives are not the fantasy of a few radicals, they are reality."

About 550 people attended a rally in Kyogle on Sunday as part of a national day of action against coal-seam gas.



Lifeline: 131114

SANE Australia Helpline: 1800187263

Beyondblue information line: 1300224636

Reach Out! Youth website:

Topics:  coal seam gas csg mental health

Ballina council votes to expand shark net trial

Ballina Shire Council has supported the trial of shark nets.

Today's vote is a big win for shark net supporters

Severe weather warning for damaging winds and hail

It is expected this afternoon's storm will hit Casino and Kyogle the hardest out of all Northern Rivers towns.

Meteorologists predict the possibility of wild weather.

North Coast film industry slams scrapping of course fee subsidies

Screenworks General manager Ken Crouch slams the government's VET shake-up.

Our booming screen industry is not a 'lifestyle choice'

Local Partners

Exterminate! Exterminate! The Daleks are coming

BCC Lismore will be screening a limited-run theatrical special presentation event of Doctor Who: The Power of the Daleks animated series from Saturday, November 12.

This is one of the most celebrated Doctor Who stories

Top 5 in entertainment this week

FULL VOICE: Dorian Mode performing the Nat 'King' Cole Tribute Show.

Here's what's happening across the Northern Rivers this week

Tom Cruise credits success to Scientology

Tom Cruise

Tom Cruise credits his success to Scientology

Hacksaw Ridge leads AACTA Awards nominations

Andrew Garfield and Teresa Palmer in a scene from the movie Hacksaw Ridge.

MEL Gibson's wartime drama opens in cinemas next week.

Top 5 events at Tropical Fruits 2016

IT'S ON: Tropical Fruits Festival over New Years.

Festival guide hits the streets this weekend

ABBA to reunite for virtual live experience


ABBA have confirmed they are to reunite - in virtual reality form

Tough times in CBD: Woolies says goodbye Ipswich

Woolworths in the Ipswich Mall.Photo: Rob Williams / The Queensland Times

The last day of trading will be January 1

Look at me! Kath and Kim home up for sale

Kath and Kim from the iconic Aussie TV series.

'Crack open the Baileys and grab a box of BBQ Shapes'

Hinterland horse stud passed in for $8.25 million

UNREAL: This Maleny estate is incredible.

12-bedroom hinterland horse stud still available

Hit songwriter's Noosa mansion on market

SPECIAL PLACE: The Cintamani estate is going to tender, marketed by Tom Offermann Real Estate.

Is this Queensland's best property?

Kiwi siblings snap up Dotcom mansion for $32.5m

The new toy company owners of the Coatesville mansion want replace any controversy with positivity and fun. Photo / Barfoot and Thompson

The trio paid $32.5 million for the property in June

New $200 million development will create 580 jobs

Cassie And Josh with baby Alfie and daughter Andee. They have bought at new Lennox Head development Epiq.

Majority of new positions will be given to Northern Rivers locals