News

Gasfields tour provides valuable insights

Richmond Valley councillors have returned from a two-day tour of Queensland gasfields while hundreds gathered at Mullumbimby to hear Arakwal and Githabul representatives explain why they opposed a petroleum exploration licence for the NSW Aboriginal Land Council.
Richmond Valley councillors have returned from a two-day tour of Queensland gasfields while hundreds gathered at Mullumbimby to hear Arakwal and Githabul representatives explain why they opposed a petroleum exploration licence for the NSW Aboriginal Land Council. Mireille Merlet-Shaw

UPDATE, 11am: Richmond Valley Council senior staff and councillors have just returned from a two day fact-finding mission to the CSG fields on Queensland's Darling Downs.

Richmond Valley mayor Ernie Bennett said the expedition met with a range of groups and individuals in Dalby, Tara, Chinchilla and surrounds, including their council counterparts at the Western Downs Regional Council headquartered in Dalby.

"We were there to find out from the council's point of view about the whole economic development of the industry," Cr Bennett said. 

"It's not just how we accommodate an influx of a thousand workers... because that then brings on other economic development and other people need to come to town."

Cr Bennet suggested Western Downs Regional Council was certainly not providing an open slather for the CSG industry.

"You could detect that some councillors still had a really close watch over the whole thing," he said.

He also mentioned he was surprised by minor visual impact of the wells.

"There wasn't as many wells visually as I thought there'd be."

The group visited a 3000ha cropping property whose owner led a local sustainability group, and met individuals in Tara who 'claim to have had health issues as a result of gas-field activity.'

A visit to two gas-fired power stations and the Arrow Energy office in Dalby also provided them with an insight into the industry's presence in the area.

Council are now meeting with representatives from Queensland departments of Natural Resources, Mines, Health, and Environment, local MPs and senior executives from Metgasco.

A council position statement on CSG is expected to be released prior to Christmas once these meetings have been completed.

 

8.30am: Richmond Valley Council is arranging a meeting with local State MPs and coal seam gas companies operating on the Northern Rivers after a two-day tour of Queensland's gas fields.

However, the councillors are not saying whether the trip has convinced them of the benefits of the industry or reinforced concerns about its impact.

The councillors voted several weeks ago to embark on the tour to give themselves a better understanding of how coal seam gas drilling worked and the impact it had on surrounding communities.

In a statement, Richmond Valley Council general manager John Walker said councillors on the trip met with people and organisations "who provided input from all sides of the issue".

"The Council visited the areas of Dalby, Tara and Chinchilla and met with representatives of local and state governments, as well as land owners and representatives and opponents of the industry," Mr Walker was quoted saying in the statement.

"We also heard from people who claim to have had health issues as result of gas-field activity."

Richmond Valley Mayor Ernie Bennett said the council would now prepare a a position statement on its approach to the coal seam gas industry in the Richmond Valley council area. The statement was expected to be finished before Christmas.

"Council is satisfied with the information and knowledge obtained from the visit, however, there will be no specific comments made until Council's position is determined," Cr Bennett was quoted saying in the statement.

The return of the Richmond Valley councillors came as more 300 people gathered at the Byron Shire Council chambers at Mullumbimby to hear the detail of an application by the NSW Aboriginal Land Council for an exploration licence on the Northern Rivers.

The application has been opposed by Byron Shire Council and local traditional owners who have said they were not consulted by the Land Council about the application.

ABC Radio has reported the meeting was addressed by members of the Arakwal and Githabul clans opposing the application and been told by Byron Shire Mayor Simon Richardson the meeting was so crowded he had to sit on the floor.

"I suspected it was going to be large and when I first got here and I couldn't get in the door, I was slightly surprised about that, and when I had to, sort of, sit on the ground - I mean, it was wonderful wasn't it. There was hundreds here and there wasn't a square piece of carpet and it was wonderful for a community-building exercise as much as a CSG focus," Cr Richardson said.

Topics:  csg richmond valley council



Plan to rescue Richmond River from decades of decline

Aerial of the Richmond River, Ballina Bar Emigrant Creek Pacific High way Teven Interchange. Photo Jay Cronan / The Northern Star

"We can't let it keep going the way it's going.”

Surfer escapes life-threatening injury

Wategos Beach, Byron Bay.

Rescue chopper called off after surfing accident

1200km of Lismore roads and $90m needed to fix them

Lismore roads were seen as being partially to blame for this driver's bad overtaking manoeuvre.

"We aim to repair as many kilometres of bitumen as possible”

Local Partners

Buderim dad rejects gay son's emotional plea for second time

Bride and Prejudice: Son’s emotional plea rejected again by unmoved father

What's on the big screen this week

Ewan McGregor and Jonny Lee Miller in a scene from the movie T2: Trainspotting.

This week's new releases offer plenty of variety for movie buffs.

REVIEW: Under the Gun doco looks at right to bear arms

ARMED: A still from the 2016 documentary film Under the Gun by Stephanie Soechtig.

An in-depth look into America's gun culture.

Hodges proud to be part of first channel dedicated to NRL

Justin Hodges is gearing up for his new gig on Fox League.

Footy star hopes to provide a voice for players on new NRL channel

Selling Houses renovate for Salvos in 100th episode

Charlie Albone, Andrew Winter and Shaynna Blaze return for season 10 of Selling Houses Australia. Supplied by Foxtel.

Selling Houses launch 10th season in volatile property market

NORPA founder brings us Opera Australia

FOR KIDS: James Payne as Troll and Ruth Strutt as Ferdinand in El Kid, Opera Australia's production for primary schools.

El Kid comes to Albert Park Public School

Furious Price wants to quit I'm a Celeb after clash with Keira

Steve Price has threatened to quit the jungle.

Will camp ration clash with Keira cause Steve to call it quits?

$140k damage: landlord says property trashed, contaminated

He had what he calls "the tenants from hell"

Submarine, buses and 3000 tyres removed in $100K clean up

The list of things removed from this property is beyond astonishing

Popular island resort sells to loaded international investor

OUR PICK: Chris Foey's colourful shot of one of Gladstone's great tourism hot spots, Heron Island.

International investor snaps up piece of Gladstone paradise.

Potential home buyers punished for doing the 'right thing'

Should I go to university or buy a house?

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!