The town of Tyalgum will declare itself CSG free tomorrow in a local ceremony.
The Tweed has seen a flurry of activity against coal-seam gas mining since the CSG-free initiative was started just two months ago. And new towns are signing up to the initiative all the time.
‘After our first CSG-free Community meeting at Tyalgum in late May it has been all go,’ said Michael McNamara from Lock the Gate – Tweed.
‘At the meeting residents formed into road groups to survey their neighbours about their desire to declare Tyalgum CSG free,’ he said.
‘The entire community of Tyalgum will gather for a community celebration to declare the area CSG free tomorrow, 30 June, from 10am with a street parade, community picnic and entertainment.
‘For each road that has a majority of residents wishing to be CSG free we will prepare a Road Declaration, which will be presented to the mayor of Tweed Shire, Barry Longland.’
‘A tree will be planted at the Community Hall to commemorate this occasion on which the community came together to fend off the threat of CSG exploration and extraction in the area.’
The coming week will see meetings in Cabarita on Monday, Bilambil on Tuesday, Kingscliff on Wednesday and Pottsville on Thursday. (See below for time and location details.)
Mr McNamara said the recent revelations about Metgasco dumping wastewater into the Casino sewerage system have really fired up locals.
‘Preliminary returns are looking very good. Local people know that the best time to stop CSG is before the drilling rigs arrive in their community.
‘We held a community meeting at Crystal Creek last week and locals have already started conducting road surveys.
‘The community of Mt Burrell was so fired up, after hearing of the initiative’s implementation at Nimbin, that they have held a community meeting and are conducting road surveys as far east as Doon Doon.’
The CSG-free Communities initiative, which started at The Channon near Lismore, seeks to give local residents an opportunity to express their views about whether they want their area to be Coal-Seam Gas (CSG) free.
Following a community meeting, local residents conduct a survey along each road in their area. When the results are collated, if a majority are in favour then the area is declared, by wish of the community, to be ‘CSG free’.
Since the initiative started in March, more than 17 communities on the northern rivers have participated with the average call for areas to be CSG free running at 96 per cent.
‘This is a very engaging process,’ Mr McNamara said, ‘with locals reporting that it is bringing their communities together in a very positive way’.
The schedule of CSG-free Community meetings (all at 7pm) for next week is:
Monday 2 July – Cabarita Beach/Bogangar, at the Cabarita Sports Club
Tuesday 3 July – Bilambil, at the Bilambil Sports Club
Wednesday 4 July – Kingscliff, at the Cudgen Leagues Club
Thursday 5 July – Pottsville, at the Pottsville Community Hall.
Mr McNamara is keen to see the CSG-free Communities initiative spread wider and invites anyone interested in implementing the in their community to contact him on 6679 3013 or by email at [email protected] to organise a community meeting.