Cr Jeff Johnson, Lennox Head
A big congratulations to all the residents of Newrybar, Tintenbar, Nashua, Fernleigh, and Brooklet for declaring their roads and suburbs CSG free last Sunday. It was a wonderful display of community spirit as 63 roads handed over their CSG-free pledges to the mayors of Ballina, Lismore and Byron. The vast majority were from the Ballina Shire.
Tintenbar Oval had a festival-type atmosphere with a variety of local produce on display and musical performances, including a band of drummers from Newrybar Primary School. A friendly pair of alpacas even dropped in to say hello. The determination and connectedness that these communities have to keep their area free from coal-seam gas mining was obvious. More than 1,000 local residents were surveyed with an incredible 96.8 per cent against the establishment of gas fields in the northern rivers.
The overwhelming response sends a clear message to the NSW state government and our local National Party MPs who are still choosing to support foreign-owned CSG companies over the legitimate concerns of local residents. Why is our local MP and minister for the north coast, Don Page, supporting this destructive industry in the northern rivers?
It was disappointing that Mr Page didn’t attend this community event to see for himself how his electorate feels about CSG. Please, Mr Page, change your position on CSG and convince your fellow National Party MPs to do the same, and start helping the community to protect our land and water from CSG mining. Anything less is a betrayal of your pre-election commitments and a slap in the face for the local environment, hard-working farmers, and the vision of a sustainable future for the northern rivers.