Byron Bay lighthouse looking back towards Byron Bay
Byron Bay lighthouse looking back towards Byron Bay David Nielsen

Shire against licence

BYRON Shire Council has passed a motion to oppose a petroleum prospecting licence application in the area by the NSW Aboriginal Land Council.

At an extraordinary meeting on Thursday, councillors voted to make a submission to the NSW Department of Natural Resources opposing the granting of "Petroleum Special Prospecting Authority" (PSPAPP55) in the Tweed and Byron shires.

The application, lodged recently by the land council, covers an area of about 900sqkm, which takes in Mullumbimby and stretches to about 10km west of Byron Bay.

Council also voted to pass a motion that the submission be prepared in consultation with the mayor for lodgement before the due date of December 5.

Today representatives of the Githabul and Ng'Araakwal tribes are calling on locals to visit their "diplomatic residence", which was set up in Railway Park at Byron Bay this week, for a reconciliation picnic.

Representative Kevin Boota said they were expecting people from Brisbane and around the Northern Rivers to attend the picnic.

Mr Boota said the residence was established as the tribes were concerned about the NSW Aboriginal Land Council's application for coal seam gas exploration licences, and to provide a place to talk about native title and Australian constitution issues.

"This is not a hand that is directed to the government, it is directed to the people in the country offering reconciliation to them," he said.

"We have also come to talk to the NG'Araakwal about the deals we are getting through native title grants and how we are not happy with the outcomes, and to support them in their dispute about hunting rights on country," Mr Boota said.



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