Ninety-five per cent plus of Byron Shire residents had a win on Thursday. A majority of our councillors voted for Byron Shire to be excluded from gasfield and CSG mining operations.
Cr Basil Cameron’s motion will be submitted in its original form to the NSW government. Byron resident and Metgasco shareholder John Vaughan will thus be spared further angst about staff hours and excessive use of ratepayers’ money. So a win for John and a win for us!
However, media reports suggest that we have more than local opponents to be concerned about. Journalists were banned on Thursday by DFAT from ‘public briefings’ on the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement, which could have severe consequences for campaigners’ democratic rights. (Read Echonetdaily 29/10.) What is happening to our right to know under this very secretive government? What is being traded away in its game of blind man’s buff?
In response, community opposition to all forms of gas mining in the northern rivers shows no sign of faltering, with coastal groups from Byron, Ballina and Tweed strengthening well-established inland campaigns.
We do, however, have a right to know what we are up against!
Jill Keogh, Federal