Byron Shire residents continue to reject coal seam gas activity - 2000 gathered at this protest last year.
Byron Shire residents continue to reject coal seam gas activity - 2000 gathered at this protest last year. Mireille Merlet-Shaw

Main Arm locals reject CSG mining

THE anti-coal seam gas declaration movement has spread to Byron Shire, with Main Arm the latest community to declare its opposition.

Maree Murfet, representing the Main Arm anti-CSG group, yesterday told Byron Shire Council a survey of 570 adults in the town had revealed 558, or 98%, wanted their road and land declared CSG free.

The group will stage a ceremony on November 17 at Durrumbul Hall to officially hand over the anti-CSG declaration to Byron Shire mayor Simon Richardson.

"This is the beginning of Byron Shire Council being presented with many more areas declaring their opposition to CSG," Ms Murfet said.

"This strategy which began in Lismore and Dunoon is taking off."

Meanwhile, the State Government has increased tenfold the fines against mining and coal seam gas companies found to have breached exploration and mining laws.

Fines of up to $1.1 million will now apply to corporations and $220,000 to individuals for offences including mining without an authority and failure to comply with a direction and breach of a condition.

Resources Minister Chris Hartcher said the previous penalties were inadequate to act as effective deterrents, particularly in relation to environmental breaches.

The NSW Government is also removing the royalty holiday for coal seam gas producers.



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