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May 19, 2024

Brunswick’s CSG Free, where next?

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CSG Free Brunswick Heads core group gathered on the breakwall recently to celebrate the good news that, of the 800 people who live in the iconic coastal town and responded to the survey, 93 per cent said that they would like the town gasfield free.

Within the coming days and weeks it will be the turn of Bangalow, Ocean Shores and Byron Bay residents to put up their hands and vote.

The Brunswick poll, following a public meeting held in the Memorial Hall on November 17,required more than 20 volunteers covering an area from Ferry Reserve in the north to Tandys Lane behind Uncle Tom’s in the south, to put the question to residents.

Many more volunteers will be required to cover the other three towns, especially the much larger areas of Byron Bay and Ocean Shores.

Residents of Bangalow, Possum Creek and Coorabell are urged to attend their meeting next Tuesday February 12 from 6pm in the A&I Hall, to hear local scientist Jo Immig, of the National Toxics Network, and Maree Murfet, leader of the successful Main Arm survey team. Everyone is invited to join in the lead-up to the street survey in Bangalow.

For residents of Ocean Shores, South Golden Beach and New Brighton, a similar meeting will be held on Saturday February 16 at 3pm in the Ocean Shores Community Centre. The speakers will be Gordon Fraser Quick, spokesperson for CSG Free Northern Rivers, and Amica Sanday, coordinator for CSG Free Byron Shire. Again, everyone is invited to help with the street survey there.

Finally in Byron Bay, from Suffolk Park to Ewingsdale, the meeting will be on Saturday February 23 at the Byron Regional Sport and Cultural Complex at 2pm. Tony Barry is the chair and the speakers are Drew Hutton, president of the Lock the Gate Alliance and Annie Kia, founder of the Gasfield Free Communities Initiative. All are invited to assist in one of many ways to help with the street surveys. The Byron Bay community is one of the largest population centres and the results of the street survey are of great significance

With all likelihood, the responses will be just as strong as have recently been achieved in Brunswick and last weekend in the Tintenbar-Newrybar area.

CSG Free Brunswick Heads co-ordinator Wendy Royston described the response there as ‘overwhelmingly against having mining in the town’.

‘Many people spoke passionately with the survey team about their horror and incredulity at the thought that mining could be imposed on this beautiful area.

‘With Dart Energy taking over PEL 445 from Arrow Energy, there is much to be alarmed about. This is the company that attempted to drill for CSG in St Peters in the heart of Sydney. Their record on community consultation is abysmal.’

For more information about the meetings and the issues being raised, please visit www.csgfreebyronshire.org.

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