Photo Jeff Dawson
After what is billed as the biggest survey of its kind conducted in urban Australia so far, Byron Bay is set to officially join other towns across the region when they declare their town gasfield free on Sunday July 21 at the Peace Park on Main Beach.
And organisers are also aiming to create the biggest celebration in the town’s history.
Co-ordinator Suzie Deyris told Echonetdaily the all-day event will coincide with the beachside markets and will kick off with meditation at 6.45am, yoga at 8am then at 10.45am a welcome to country ceremony will be performed.
Additionally, a ‘Stand in the Sand’ crowd formation is planned for a plane flyover at 12.45pm. Many other activities are planned, including live music from Goanna’s Shane Howard and others.
And while the focus of the day is aimed at celebrating community, the underlying issues have not been forgotten. Ms Deyris claims genuine transparent oversight of CSG mining is non-existent, despite promises from the state government. ‘The long-term consequences of CSG mining are unknown. It is predicted that there will be more than 40,000 gas wells in Queensland when the rollout is completed.
‘We may be able to keep the wellheads out of the northern rivers but we don’t know the extent to which our waterways will be affected by the Queensland operations.’
And apart from huge fossil-fuel subsidies paid by the public purse, she says, ‘It is believed that at least 80 per cent of Queensland’s CSG will be exported, as will most of the profits. Jobs in CSG mining are very short term. Salaries in the mining industry tend to be high but mining in Australia accounts for only two per cent of total employment.’