At the Tuncester protest against coal seam gas was Gwilym Summers of Eltham.
At the Tuncester protest against coal seam gas was Gwilym Summers of Eltham. Doug Eaton

Rock Valley rallies against CSG

POWER through unity was the main message pushed at a coal seam gas rally in the Northern Rivers over the weekend.

About 100 people gathered at the quaint Rock Valley Hall, north of Lismore, on Saturday morning for a symbolic blockade.

The attendees ranged from an environmental scientist to a dairy farmer to a number of passionate activists but all were united by a cause - to fight coal seam gas activities in the region.

Robert Morton, a dairy farmer whose Rock Valley Rd property has been passed down through four generations, said it was "heartbreaking" to not know what the future would hold.

"I became aware of the issue about six or eight months ago," he said.

"I had no idea how big it was going to be. There is no room for agriculture when it comes to mining.

"The two cannot live in harmony.

"The pollution to the water is a threat. It's alright for the companies to say it won't show up when they are here but what about in 10 years?"

Residents took turns addressing the rally, including Wanda Halden of the Rock Valley Gas Rangers, who stressed the importance of being a united force in the face of coal seam gas mining.

"We are encouraging other communities to form coal seam gas groups so they can patrol the valleys and prepare to stop the rigs. This whole area is covered by coal seam gas mining tenements."

An overwhelming concern was the threat mining posed to water supply, Ms Halden said.

"The fact coal seam gas mining companies refuse to do independent testing ... means they have a leg to stand on when they (contaminate) our water supply," she said.

Mining companies in the Liverpool Plains and Queensland had also shown a failure to communicate with communities, she added.

Various coal seam gas activist groups will hold a public meeting at the Lismore Workers Club at 7pm on March 1.


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