CSG free community group Lock the Tweed (LTT) has called on Andrew Stoner to support community opposition to unconventional gas drilling after the deputy premier revealed on TV last week that he ‘wouldn’t want a CSG well five metres from my property’.
Mr Stoner told an ABC news reporter last week, ‘It’s going to affect my property value a hell of a lot. Nobody is going to want to buy that value, ah that piece of land rather, [sic] and there’s always the potential for something to go wrong, so I understand why people are concerned.’
The revelation left LTT spokesperson Michael McNamara ‘gobsmacked, to say the least’.
Mr McNamara said it was time for the deputy premier to show some leadership on the issue within his own party.
‘Mr Stoner’s admission that CSG operations impact on land values of adjoining properties confirms anecdotal reports from landowners across the state,’ Mr McNamara said.
‘His acknowledgement of the risk of something going wrong is also welcome, but meaningless unless he takes strong action to address the risks.
‘It’s a pity he has not, to date, shown the same level of concern for rural residents near the Metgasco drilling sites at Glenugie and Doubtful Creek.’
Mr McNamara said it was important that some primary industries weren’t ring fenced while others were left to the hands of the gas producers.
‘We need to see Mr Stoner carry his concerns through to pushing for decisions within the government that ensure that the concerns of all communities are taken into account, not just those of residential areas or some ‘industry clusters’ such as vineyards or thoroughbred horses.’
He added, perhaps somewhat tongue in cheek, that the deputy premier would be welcome at a CSG free blockade.
‘Now that he has gone public with his concerns he should consider joining with other community members who are also expressing their concerns. I am sure the community members who have been protecting the Doubtful Creek area would welcome his attendance at the blockade,’ he added.