Mayor Jenny Dowell
Mayor Jenny Dowell Cathy Adams

Pros and cons of CSG debate

LOW UNEMPLOYMENT, overflowing government coffers and cleaner energy, versus water contamination, health impacts and the destruction of our food bowl.

These are the two sides of the coal seam gas debate, an argument that will be decided once and for all - at least between Lismore LGA residents - with the September CSG poll.

Mayor Jenny Dowell yesterday posted Yes and No cases for CSG on Facebook from the Australian Petroleum and Production Exploration Association and Lock the Gate Alliance.

Pro-CSG points included increased government royalties: the CSG industry says it's paying around $850 million in tax every year to the Queensland Government to help fund new roads, hospitals, teachers and police.

Anti-CSG points included the serious health impacts on humans, animals and wildlife reported in Queensland and the US, as well as the risk of "depleting and contaminating ground and surface water".

If voters remain undecided, they needn't fear - the two cases will also be included as compulsory information in the polling booths.

Cr Dowell said the poll was the best way to determine the stance of the community on the issue.

"It's possible that those people who are proponents of CSG could suggest that the anti-CSG sentiment is being driven by a small but loud minority," she said.

As the poll coincides with council elections on Saturday, September 8, its cost is included in the budget allocation for the election, so will require no further expense.

Cr Dowell said that all but two councillors were publicly against CSG.



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