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Byron Shire
February 27, 2021

CSG-free communities on a roll

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Leyla Roberts, Greens MLC Jeremy Buckingham and Ballina councillor Jeff Johnson at Leyla’s CSG-free property in Meerschaum Valle.

This weekend will see a coal-seam-gas-free community celebration in Nimbin. Numbers are also building in Meerschaum Vale. And Byron Shire will host its first CSG-free meeting in coming days.

At 2.30pm tomorrow, at Peace Park, the Nimbin community will declare itself a CSG-free community. Residents of 43 Roads will present their Gasfield Free Road declarations to Lismore mayor Jenny Dowell, along with some colourful street theatre (well it is Nimbin!).

Nimbin community members have completed a survey of adult residents on every road around Nimbin (more than 1400 respondents), asking ‘do you want your road/land to be CSG free?’ They were given three options: yes, no and not sure; 98.9 per cent said yes and 1.1 per cent not sure. No-one said no.

This is the largest survey yet in the gasfield-free community initiative. With completion of the Nimbin survey, the entire Nimbin Valley can be declared Gasfield Free – Protected by Communities. This was achieved jointly with the North Lismore, Booerie Creek, Goolmangar, Coffee Camp and Jiggi communities.

Meerschaum Vale next

More than 30 per cent of Meerschaum Vale residents have signed pledges declaring the area CSG free. So far, 100 per cent of respondents are against CSG.

Local property owner and council candidate Leyla Roberts has been involved with the initiative.

Last week she met with councillor and mayoral hopeful Jeff Johnson and Greens mining spokesperson Jeremy Buckingham to discuss the initiative.

‘It’s great that Justelius Rd is the first road in the Ballina shire to be declared CSG free,’ said Mr Johnson.

‘Meerschaum Vale is right on the border of the Lismore shire where Metgasco are currently active. It’s important that local landowners talk to each other and present a united front to prevent CSG mining in the Ballina Shire.’

Jeremy Buckingham said, ‘the residents of the northern rivers are some of the most informed and as a result the most active in highlighting the threat that CSG mining poses to the region’.

Nashua meeting announced

Concerned about the potential impact on its land and the health of its community if CSG mining comes to Nashua, the Nashua Landcare Group (NLG) have decided to act. They are the first group in Byron Shire to do so.

NLG is inviting Nashua residents to attend a public meeting on Sunday 26 August to hear about CSG mining and its potential effects and to vote on whether they want Nashua to join the growing list of northern rivers CSG-free communities.

The meeting will be held at Pearces Creek Hall, Pearces Creek Rd from 3pm to 5pm. Guest speaker will be Annie Kia, initiator and regional coordinator of CSG Free Northern Rivers. As well, there will be a documentary shown on coal-seam gas mining in the northern rivers.

For more information email [email protected] or phone Sandra Handley 6629 1141.


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