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Byron Shire
May 22, 2024

Why Byron will stay CSG-free

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John Vaughan, Byron Bay

Is there no end to Byron Councillor Duncan Dey’s call on ratepayer funds to pay for blatant NSW Greens political campaigns?

Cr Duncan Dey has a notice of motion No. 8.5. Gasfield Free Signposts up at the next Council meeting 13 June. Fresh from Duncan’s promoted, Telstra contaminated land site purchase disaster and million dollar budget buster Mullum Woolies legal loss stoush, Cr Dey now wants ‘Gasfield Free’ signposts put up at ratepayers’ expense, just in time for the Greens’ federal election campaign. Duncan’s covering note on the signage requests politely, ‘low cost but promptness will be appreciated’. That’s filling pothole talk Duncan.

What makes this call on ratepayer funds so blatantly political is that both Cr Dey and Mayor Richardson both know that there are no coal seams or CSG in Byron Shire. The actual petroleum exploration licence holder in the Shire has informed them so. However the Greens simply don’t let geological facts get in the way of a good political campaign. For them it’s a case of lock the gate, close the mind, vote Green.

It’s so easy finding the true facts on the Clarence Morton basin and the coal seams located within on Google. The closest coal seam to Byron Shire is in a geological uplift of the Walloon coal measures at Bexhill, any potential CSG harvesting is only possible west of this location. Surely it’s the responsibility of the Mayor and Councillors to inform needlessly worried residents when their concerns about CSG are so misplaced.

I would urge concerned residents to check out investigative journalist Phelim McAleer’s applauded recent documentary FrackNation if they seriously want to be informed about CSG and the political games being played with this issue. Once exposed, my copy of Josh Fox’s doco GasLands spontaneously caught fire and has gone into the bin. Sorry Josh!

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  1. Dear Mr Vaughan
    In response to your letter titled Why Byron Will Stay CSG Free, in Friday’s Echonetdaily, I would like to clear up some inaccuracies and assumptions on your part.

    As Co-ordinator of the Brunswick Heads Gasfield Free Group, I approached Councillor Duncan Dey with regard to erecting 2 signs on the 2 entrances roads to Brunswick Heads, declaring the town Gasfield Free. This was after a survey of all residents of the town returned a vote of 93% who wanted to declare the town Gasfield Free.

    At no time did we request funding from Council and in fact we are aware that our group will pay for the signs ourselves from fundraising we have done, as will all the other Gasfield Free Groups in Byron Shire, who will erect signs on the entrance roads to their towns, once surveys have been completed and towns are declared Gasfield Free.

    The request for assistance from Councillor Dey and Council is for erecting the signs on suitable poles with an attempt at using existing ones so as not to add to the proliferation of poles on the roadsides and also for assistance with any protocols in relation to this. So rather than denigrating Councillor Dey and Councillor Richardson, they should be commended on assisting a project which an overwhelming percentage of their constituents would like to do. That is what we have voted them in for, in my view.

    With regard to whether CSG is an issue in this region, it is not, Tight Sands and Shale Gas are the issues here and that is why we have surveyed on declaring the town Gasfield Free. Brunswick Heads declared itself Gasfield Free on Saturday June 1st as you would have seen in front page headlines in the last issue of the Echo. While it is true that Dart Energy who have the mining licence over the area including Brunswick Heads have withdrawn and there is talk that it is not economically viable for them to mine at this point, there is no guarantee as to their or any other mining company’s intention in the future. That is why it is most important to give a clear message to the mining companies ‘you are not wanted here and if you come you will have over 90% of residents opposed to you’.

    I hope that you are now clear on the above matters and are happy that Councillor Dey is helping residents of the Shire express their wishes. He has been most helpful, clear and available to listen to what it is we need help with.

    Best wishes
    Wendy Royston
    Brunswick Heads


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The letters deadline for The Echo is noon Friday. Letters longer than 200 words may be cut. The publication of letters is at the discretion of the letters editor.