Ernie Bennett, Mayor of Richmond Valley Council.
Ernie Bennett, Mayor of Richmond Valley Council. Mireille Merlet-Shaw

Richmond Valley CSG poll aims to get true picture of views

RICHMOND Valley mayor Ernie Bennett hopes the council's announcement of a likely poll on unconventional gas mining will slow the number of heated calls councillors receive.

Even if it won't be held until September, 2016.

"Councillors are contacted on a daily basis regarding this," he said.

"But, at the end of the day, we have absolutely nothing to do with the decision making process.

"There's such a differing view of what the percentage of the community is that supports it (CSG mining), or doesn't."

There's such a differing view of what the percentage of the community is that supports it (CSG mining), or doesn't

- Richmond Valley mayor Ernie Bennett

Cr Bennett said the council resolution for a likely poll, following a Notice of Motion by councillor Robert Mustow, resulted from community interest and concern.

It would occur: "In order for Council to obtain a true and accurate picture of the broader community's views on unconventional gas exploration and mining...".

Coordinator of the Gasfield Free Northern Rivers Alliance, Dean Draper welcomed the news, but said "...while an earlier date would be better, the fact the council wishes to do the survey is a plus".

He said the alliance door knocked over 30,000 homes across the Northern Rivers and averaged 96% support for a gas field free region.

"As long as they ensure a fair and unbiased question, we are confident the Richmond Valley community will show again that they oppose unconventional gas mining in their region," Mr Draper said.



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