Public in defiant mood over CSG

Planning minister Brad Hazzard spoke to a large crowd at the Casino RSM.
Planning minister Brad Hazzard spoke to a large crowd at the Casino RSM.

"NO coal seam gas, no coal seam gas."

This was the chant that erupted yesterday afternoon at the Casino RSM club at the end of a two hour public meeting that was called to discuss the O'Farrell Government's draft Regional Strategic Land use policy.

Anti-coal seam gas (CSG) signs and banners adorned the room and it didn't take long for NSW planning minister Brad Hazzard to realise he would be fielding few questions about the land use policy.

People from children to adults were adorned in their Don't frack with me anti CSG T-shirts, some of them standing defiantly with signs in their hands and their mouths taped up for the duration of the meeting.

The meeting, which was called by Lismore MP Thomas George, was opened by Member for Clarence Chris Gulaptis before Mr Hazzard spoke for 15 minutes and then took questions from the passionate public gallery for an hour and 45 minutes.

Mr Hazzard said the O'Farrell government was well aware of the risks associated with CSG mining.

He said since it was elected last year the O'Farrell government had put a moratorium on new CSG licences and established a new aquifer interference regulation.

"Damage to aquifers is one of the biggest risks of any sort of mining," he said.

"We are a government that are very serious about trying the find the right balance."

He said the government was in the process of mapping the entire state to ensure sensitive areas are protected from any mining.

When Mr Hazzard opened the floor up to questions he got to see first-hand the passion held by many Northern Rivers residents over this controversial issue.

From chants of 'just say no', to people in the crowd yelling 'the sun is free', they made their opinions heard.

Proudly sporting a No CSG badge, Lismore councillor Simon Clough said CSG mining would affect everyone in the Northern Rivers.

"We are all at risk," he said.

"Its not just about farms, it's about water."

Mr Hazzard said one of the best questions came from a man who asked why people can't vote for their preferred choice from a list of options of power and fuel sources.

Mr Hazzard said he encouraged people to send submissions concerning the Regional Strategic Land Use policy to the Department of Planning by May 3.

Topics:  casino, coal seam gas, lismore, mining, protests



Local Real Estate

Featured Real Estate
D.I.Y. OR INSTALLED HOME... $9500.00 From
Mobile Home Fully self contained granny flat or mod homes.  D.I.Y $9.5k or $12.5K ...
Uninterrupted Coastline... Forthcoming...
House 1 1 1
Prime vacant land in... Expressions of...
Residential Land A home built on this block can enjoy great hinterland views. Wollumbin ...

Featured Jobs

Lismore jobs listed daily


Around the Network


Local Partners

LATEST DEALS AND OFFERS

View today's ePaper!

Read the digital edition
Learn More

Cars For Sale

Find cars for sale online now.
Learn More

Subscription Sale

Subscribe now for $1 for 14 days.
Learn More

Local Profile

Stay Connected

Get the news as it happens, in your inbox

You can change the newsletters you are subscribed to when you edit your profile

Edit Profile


Special Offers

Latest deals and offers

Horoscopes

Cancer

If you’re feeling neglected by others or criticized unfairly, you may be feeling the pinch. Don’t play victim, however, and address...

read more

Marketplace

Special Offers & Promotions

Compare & Save