24.3 C
Byron Shire
March 5, 2021

Ballina coal-seam gas education awareness forum

Latest News

My dear friend, Philip Rubinstein 1934–2021

I first met Phil on a rain-soaked day outside my house in Brunswick Terrace, Mullum. It was an accidental encounter, but we soon got stuck into a conversation about the parlous state of Australian universities.

Other News

Mt Warning ban

Chris Gee, Byron Bay Indigenous readers be advised that the following letter contains references to persons deceased. I read with some...

Cartoon of the week – 3 March, 2021

We love to receive letters, but not every letter will be published; the publication of letters is at the discretion of the online and print letters editors.

Rapey Liberal culture is their undoing

Former Liberal staffer Brittany Higgins’ steel-eyed testimony around rape allegations saw spiders crawl from under rocks and spread in all directions last week. 

Ministers misbehave

Keith Duncan, Pimlico Accusations of appalling behaviour by the Liberal Party in covering up misdeeds within its ranks just keep...

Nurses call for an improved aged care sector

A ‘walk with nurses’ was held in Mullum last Friday, and aimed to highlight the concern aged care nurses have around fee structures, safety issues and staff training in order to properly care for our elderly.

Praying for Vanuatu in Ballina

The World Day of Prayer is a gigantic ecumenical event staged on the first Friday of March.

I attended the Ballina coal-seam gas education awareness forum on 31 July, and was absolutely astounded that only two Ballina Shire councillors were in attendance – Cr Jeff Johnson, who was MC, and Cr Sue Meehan, who was in the audience.

This was an exceptional opportunity to find out all about the effects of CSG, yet the Ballina council did not even send its own planning or executive staff along, nor did it endorse its councillors to attend.

I did, however, see the council’s strategic planner, who said he was there in his own right as a private individual. He then got up and moved to the opposite end of the auditorium so I could not speak with him further.

What a dreadfully ‘poor show’ on behalf of Ballina Council and its elected representatives.

I urge all voters to find out why this forum (put on by The Ballina Environment Society and The Greens) was boycotted in this way.

We need councillors from September onwards who will put politics aside and learn to understand the real issues to do with mining and CSG so our farmland can be preserved as a food source for future generations. We need our aquifers preserved, because there is no life without water.

We don’t need councillors who know it all because they get up at 4am each day and listen to the ABC news. We need councillors like Jenny Dowell and Simon Clough who get out among the people and find out first hand the devastation the mining industry is causing.

Some of the Ballina councillors tendered apologies to the Ballina forum because they were listening to the Labor Party speaker, Janelle Saffin MP, at the Alstonville Chamber of Commerce instead. One of those councillors has even declared a pecuniary interest in a coal-seam gas mining company!

But wasn’t it Labor that got us into this terrible mess over CSG and open cut mining? Wasn’t it Labor that issued the mining rights to the overseas multinationals? And wasn’t it the Nationals who blame Labor, yet have done nothing to curb the devastation the mining industry is causing in rural Australia.

Family life is being fragmented by husbands working in the mines as FIFOs for three weeks straight with a week off at home. Sure, they earn big money – some as high as $20,000 a month as night-time equipment refuellers! But money isn’t everything.

Our local builders are going broke, our tradesmen are non-existent because they are working in the mines, and the resultant flow-on effect is going to take decades to recover.

At the next election, vote for councillors who have made a positive effort to understand the effects of CSG and open-cut coal mining, not those who run away with poor excuses.

Margaret Howes
Empire Vale


Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Ben Hamilton riding for kids with cancer

Ballina man Ben Hamilton is riding his bike 500km to help young kids with cancer.

Brunswick Heads marina berths to increase

Questions remain unanswered around a press release from Nationals MLC Ben Franklin’s office regarding a $2.8 million upgrade to the Brunswick Heads boat harbour. According...

Helping Our Kids, help our kids

The Lismore Samson Fitness Challenge kicks off tonight in Lismore with the express aim of raising much-needed funds for the Our Kids charity.

Nimbin medicinal cannabis event, March 27

Two experienced medical cannabis doctors and a retired magistrate who is passionate about changing the drug driving rules will take part in the MEDICAN gathering in Nimbin.