Melissa Hargraves & Chris Dobney
More jobs are created in managing the damage from coal-seam gas (CSG) mining than from the drilling itself, according to state Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham, who addressed a community information evening on CSG mining in the Northern Rivers at the Lismore Workers Club last night.
More than 700 people attended the meeting, at which Mr Buckingham warned that ‘if we fail here in the Northern Rivers, there will be no stopping this ugly machine’. One of six speakers, he gave political context to the night by explaining that the current paradigm in parliament is that ‘any industry is a good industry’.
Chaired by Paul Hobbs from Kyogle, the evening’s varied speakers included Lismore mayor Jenny Dowell, Trinity High School captain and member of AYCC Amelia Telford, chairman of Norco Board of Directors Greg McNamara, Dr Marion Lloyd Smith from the National Toxic Network and local psychologist Dr Wayne Somerville. Information delivered on the night was devastating in its factuality, but hopeful in its delivery.
The meeting was told that the current legislation on CSG mining is outdated and audience members were urged to email, write or phone our state member.
In a dramatic turn, a member of the meeting claimed fracking had commenced in a Casino well yesterday.
Echonetdaily has confirmed ‘unusual activity’ around the Metgasco’s South Casino Number 2 well yesterday, which included pumping water, together with what appeared to be a chemical product into the well.
Workshops have started in the art of non-violent protest and attracting people who have never even been to a meeting, let alone a protest.
Jeremy Buckingham reminded the Northern Rivers of its long and proud history of disobedience and that Australia, particularly the government, is closely watching how we manage the outcome.