Majority demand moratorium

Jake McNab (front) of Eltham with other children from the local area holding signs depicting local streets they want CSG free.
Jake McNab (front) of Eltham with other children from the local area holding signs depicting local streets they want CSG free. Patrick Gorbunovs

MORE Northern Rivers communities have declared themselves coal seam gas-free, coinciding with the announcement from Federal member for Kennedy, Bob Katter, that he would again call for an urgent moratorium on CSG drilling.

His announcement comes following concerns about a fracking operation taking place near the Great Artesian Basin.

The Northern Territory Government recently approved the operation, which is Australia's first horizontal CSG fracking operation.

Horizontal fracking, as opposed to vertical, uses smaller fracks to access hard-to-reach deposits.

The approval prompted the Northern Territory Cattlemen's Association to call for a moratorium and Mr Katter will formally request one when parliamentary sittings commence on October 9.

"We strongly back the call for a moratorium by the Northern Territory Cattlemen's Association and will move for an urgent moratorium in the next sittings of parliament - and we expect the support of the crossbenchers," he said.

On Saturday at Eltham Hotel, a cluster of Northern Rivers communities declared themselves CSG-free by presenting petitions to Lismore Mayor Jenny Dowell.

Almost 60 roads, totalling 900 properties from Eltham, Numulgi, Woodlawn, Clunes and Bexhill, were declared CSG-free.

Volunteers asked every resident over 16-years-old in each house in the streets if they wanted a CSG-free community.

"We simply go on a basis of a majority and so far the lowest result we've found is 93% of people not wanting CSG. The highest we've got is 100% of some roads," CSG-Free Communities Northern Rivers spokesperson Gordon Fraser explained.

"That road then declares themselves CSG-free and, eventually, after all the other roads in the area declare themselves CSG-free, whole districts become CSG-free."

Anti-CSG activists also voiced concerns about minister for the North Coast, Don Page's claim that there are no disputes between farmers and resource companies on the far North Coast.

Mr Page also claimed he had not taken a call from any farmer refusing coal seam gas companies access to their land.

"I find that amazing, disappointing and disillusioning that a member can be so dislocated and disconnected from his constituents. Consistently we are getting more than 90% of people opposed to CSG throughout not only MP Thomas George's electorate but throughout MP Page's as well," said Mr Fraser.

Topics:  bob katter, coal seam gas, lismore, northern territory cattlemen's association



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