This week’s Byron Council public access meeting was filled to overflowing with concerned citizens bearing signs supporting the proposed motion by Basil Cameron to ‘restate support for CSG mining operations to be excluded from Byron Shire’.
Almost the entire area of Byron Shire has now been surveyed, with a resounding average of 98 per cent of residents declaring they wish their area to remain Gasfield Free.
It became clear during open question time that the motion should be reworded to ‘Gasfield Free or unconventional gas’ as there may be very little coal seam gas or shale gas in the Byron Shire but there is tight gas, which may require fracking and all the attendant problems that result.
Eliza Wills from Goonengerry spoke of the need for unpolluted, clean water without which there can be no food security, organic business and sustainable tourism. She also mentioned the importance of a united stand (even across shire boundaries). As Councillor Rose Wanchap said, ‘We’re all in this boat together, Australia’.
John Vaughan, a Metgasco shareholder, stated that there is no CSG in Byron Shire (there may not be but there are unconventional gas sources). If there isn’t, why has Dart just bought the PEL 445 licence, which includes Ocean Shores, Byron Bay, Bangalow, part of Mullumbimby?
He also claimed the proposal would be expensive for the shire but according to mayor Simon Richardson it will only cost the council two hours of ‘cutting and pasting’.
The proposal’s wording was changed to ‘That Council restates support for a Gasfield Free Shire that incorporates a Coal Seam Gas (CSG) mining exclusion zone’.
The motion was passed six votes to three.
The Byron Shire community has been supported on an issue obviously about which they feel very strongly.
If you wish to be notified of any future onsite actions to proposed drillings please contact Olga at [email protected]
Vivien Royston, New Brighton