THE FUTURE: Ian Gaillard and Django Bening, 5, with one of the new signs that illustrate the community stance against gas mining. The signs will be unveiled at a rally on Saturday.
THE FUTURE: Ian Gaillard and Django Bening, 5, with one of the new signs that illustrate the community stance against gas mining. The signs will be unveiled at a rally on Saturday. Mireille Merlet-Shaw

Signs are obvious for community protection

THE Northern Rivers will be declared "community-protected" by four huge signs erected at strategic gateway points around the region.

Gasfield-free activist Ian Gaillard said the community had banded together to oppose gas mining in the region and evidence of their determination will be unveiled at a rally in Riverside Park on Saturday. "The Northern Rivers people made it clear that they want the Northern Rivers to remain gasfield free," Mr Gaillard said.

"The reason why it remains a gasfield-free area is because it has been protected by a determined community."

Mining company Metgasco last week challenged the government's decision to suspend drilling at its Rosella well at Bentley.

Mr Gaillard was among those who attended the hearing which is continuing in the Supreme Court.

"The rally is saying 'We, the people of the Northern Rivers, have protected our land and water and will keep it that way'," Mr Gaillard said.

Gasfield-free activist, educator and author Aidan Ricketts said the signs were a "legitimate claim about regional sentiment".

"The community can legitimately claim the region as gasfield free," he said.

"All the evidence points to a high level of consensus on this issue.

"The councils of the region have united against gasfield development, there are 135 gasfield-free communities with an average of 95% respondents voting to be declared gasfield free, the Lismore poll recorded 87% opposition to the industry and SCU research across the whole Page electorate in 2013 confirmed similar results.

"The community has spoken, now it is up to the state government to act in accordance to community's interest and get on with cancelling the licences."



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