It’s official – or it will be after tomorrow. During a comprehensive survey of the area’s 2,780 people, 95.2 per cent voted to keep the area free of coal seam gas and unconventional gas mining.
It is the largest residential area in Byron Shire to be surveyed to date.
To celebrate and publicly declare the community’s decision, everyone is invited to a Gasfield Free Declaration Day and Concert tomorrow from 2-8pm at the Ocean Shores Public School, Shara Boulevard, North Ocean Shores.
The day will open with entertainment from one of the Doubtful Creek blockaders Simmo Marty, local activist and songwriter Methane Mike and the Peace Choir. At 3pm there will be a presentation ceremony with Byron mayor Simon Richardson followed by Raise the Roof choir.
There will also be delicious home-made savoury food and scrumptious cakes for sale, and plenty of chances to win a fantastic local prize in two giant raffles.
The day will finish with an indoor concert from 4pm, featuring the talents of local musicians Guy Kachel, Marshall O’Kell, Juzzie Smith, Luke Vasella, Rebecca Ireland, Andy Jans-Brown and Craig Telfer. Entry to the concert is $5, with kids free of charge.
The Declaration Day is the culmination of the efforts of local group Gasfield Free Ocean Shores and Surrounds (GFOSS). The group operates under the umbrella of the Lock the Gate Alliance and CSG Free Northern Rivers.
‘The group conducted a door-to-door survey of all the houses in Ocean Shores, New Brighton, North Ocean Shores and South Golden Beach,’ said Shelley Breda, GFOSS coordinator.
Ocean Shores and surrounds will join the nearby communities of Main Arm Valley, Nashua, Newrybar, Federal, Goonengerry, Bangalow and most recently Brunswick Heads, which have all declared themselves gasfield free.
To volunteer to help out with Declaration Day, contact David Hall on 6680 4728.
You can also find out how to get involved to stop unconventional gas mining in the Northern Rivers at www.csgfreebyronshire.org