The massive vote against coal-seam gas in the Lismore City Council area at Saturday’s poll mirrors the responses gathered as part of the CSG-free Communities campaign in the Tweed, according to Michael McNamara from Lock the Gate – Tweed.
‘Even as a voluntary poll, about 85 per cent of voters chose to participate. This demonstrates the strong concern held by northern rivers residents about the issues associated with CSG operations,’ Mr McNamara said yesterday.
‘Results in polling booths in communities already declared CSG-free as a result of road surveys strongly validates the results of those surveys.
‘There was a close correlation between the results of the road surveys and the outcomes of the poll conducted by the NSW Electoral Commission on Saturday.
‘This gives us added confidence in the validity of the survey results from communities covering half the Tweed shire, including all of that part of Tweed Shire contained in the Arrow Energy exploration licence.
‘The road survey results for the Tweed have been overwhelmingly against coal-seam gas operations in the shire, averaging over 97 per cent support to be CSG-free.
‘We will be giving the people of urban Murwillumbah a chance to have their say about whether or not they want coal-seam gas operations in the local area at community meetings to be held in the week commencing Monday September 17.
‘If, as I expect, the view of the people of Murwillumbah reflects the views of rural communities, then it puts additional pressure on the newly elected councillors to vote to declare the whole of Tweed Shire CSG-free.
‘Many of those likely to be elected made commitments, in a survey conducted by Lock the Gate – Tweed, to vote for and support council taking a more proactive and positive stand against CSG in the Tweed.
‘We intend to hold them to their commitments.’