RV council position statement on CSG
RICHMOND Valley Council released its positioning statement on the coal seam gas industry last night.
Mayor Ernie Bennett said the council acknowledged that CSG activity was happening and would continue to take place and the council needed to be at the forefront in its supervision.
He said that while local government did not have the primary role in approving or regulating the CSG industry, he requested that industry, landholders, the community and governments adopt a collaborative approach to CSG developments.
"Richmond Valley Council is committed to ensuring government legislation adequately protects the environment and agricultural production of the council area, while allowing for the development of a sustainable coal seam gas industry," Mr Bennett said.
"Council believes all parties in the debate need to work together and learn to trust each other to achieve a balance of outcomes which are positive, based on fact and the best available science."
Cr Bennett said the council would not accept any activity which placed the community water supply at risk and called on Metgasco to urgently complete and publish its plans for water treatment and disposal.
He also called on the NSW Government to ensure adequate baseline assessments of existing water levels, as well as water quality and air quality were done immediately.
"We would like to see a Casino-based state government inspector to ensure adequate monitoring of regulations and standards," Cr Bennett said.
Cr Bennett added that the NSW Government should also introduce an effective Royalties for Regions Program to return mining payments to the Richmond Valley, which would be set aside for local infrastructure projects.
"Our residents are at the heart of what we do and as a council we must ensure we meet the future needs of our local area," he said.