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May 7, 2021

Calls for NOROC to get CSG advice

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Kyogle Council has followed Lismore, voting to impose a moratorium on coal-seam gas exploration and mining.

Kyogle mayor Ross Brown has gone further, calling on Northern Regional Organisation of Councils (NOROC) to obtain legal advice on the legitimacy of the moratoriums on behalf of its members.

Kyogle Group Against Gas spokeswoman Boudicca Cerise has backed the call.

‘I feel there’s a very strong momentum building in the Northern Rivers to put pressure on the state government to do more than they are doing at the moment on this issue,’ she told ABC radio this morning.

Mayor Brown said in an interview yesterday, ‘We’ve imposed a moratorium on any CSG activity on council-owned land or council-controlled infrastructure until such time as our previous resolutions [regarding assurances on environmental and ground water concerns] have been dealt with.’

Mr Brown said the moratorium did include the Lions Road reservation that would be required to form part of the ‘hypothetical’ Lions Way pipeline, which would transit world-heritage rainforest into south-east Queensland.

‘The Lions Road comes of the top of the headwaters of the Richmond River. Any impact up there would have an effect all the way through the Richmond Valley.

‘Kyogle Council is looking for independent testing and scientific evaluations on the impact of CSG, particularly to water supplies,’ he said.

The mayor said it was legal for council to pass the moratorium but acknowledge the state government had the ability to override it.

‘But effectively it is a political stance. The state government will have to come out and override our moratoriums. So we’re making them come forward, effectively.’

Cr Brown said the council had instructed the general manager to ask NOROC whether they may pay for legal advice that could be accessed by all the councils in the area.

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