Tweed Shire Council is taking up Lismore’s lead and offering to install Gasfield Free signs at various locations throughout the shire.
But despite the Tweed community voting overwhelmingly to remain gasfield free, the council won’t go ahead with the proposal unless it receives positive feedback from residents on the scheme.
Community members can have their say online or by calling the council directly.
‘Installing these signs is another important step in reaffirming council’s position, sending a clear signal to gas operators that gas exploration is not welcome here,’ the Mayor of Tweed, Councillor Barry Longland, said.
‘If supported by the community, panels displaying the words ‘Gasfield Free’ will be added to new and existing welcome signs at the entrances to Tweed Shire. Panels will also be added to township and village signs scattered across the shire, reading ‘Tweed Shire – Gasfield Free’.
‘Council has consulted closely with Gasfield Free Northern Rivers and Lock the Gate Tweed in developing the plan for these signs,’ Cr Longland said.
‘Before going too much further, we want to make sure this is something the community also support, which is why we’re asking the public to have their say.’
‘We will also be out and about in the community to chat with residents about the signage. This includes World Environment Day at Knox Park in Murwillumbah on 1 June 2014,’ Cr Longland said.
He said the proposed signs were timely given the recent merger of Dart Energy with UK oil and gas explorer IGas Energy.
‘IGas Energy is reportedly planning to sell all non-UK assets owned by Dart Energy once the merger is complete, such as petroleum exploration licence (PEL) 445 which covers parts of the south west of the Tweed, including much of the Tweed’s water supply catchment areas,’ Cr Longland said.
A webpage dedicated to the issue of unconventional gas operations in the Tweed has been set up on Your Say Tweed, Council’s online community engagement forum.
Visit www.yoursaytweed.com.au/gas to complete the survey or for information on the signs, proposed locations, Council’s position on Coal Seam Gas and the current status of gas exploration in the Tweed or phone council on (02) 6670 2400.