27.1 C
Byron Shire
February 29, 2024

Tweed set for Gasfield Free signs

Latest News

How much water can we supply to the increasing population?

It is predicted that the next 40 years will see the demand for water increase by 50 per cent in the local government areas that Rous County Council supply with water.

Other News

Mullumbimby men’s team well placed to defend local water polo championship

The Mullumbimby men’s water polo team sit on top of the Far North Coast competition table after beating their major rivals, the Alstonville Rattle Snakes 8–4, earlier this week.

Gratitude for the ‘vagina’ events

This year I joined the V-day dance for the first time and I will treasure this sacred gathering for...

Punishment

There is a justice problem in criminal assault cases if a person who claims to have been assaulted makes...

Time to go? The costly impact of climate change on the housing hip pocket

Jennifer Woods had lived in Wagga Wagga her whole life, a single parent of four children, a social worker and no stranger to what life on a floodplain might throw the way of anyone living there: the town has learnt to cope with floods – 60 have been registered since Federation.

Save Wallum

I listened to the Byron Shire Council (BSC) meeting to hear the fate of the Wallum site. Congrats to...

Fire danger period to end early for Northern Rivers

Tweed, Byron, Ballina, Kyogle, Lismore, Richmond Valley and Clarence Valley are among the local government areas (LGAs) that will see an early end to  the Bush Fire Danger Period.

A sample of the proposed Gasfield Free signs for the Tweed. Image Tweed Shire Council
A sample of the proposed Gasfield Free signs for the Tweed. Image Tweed Shire Council

Luis Feliu

Tweed councillors are set to ramp up the shire’s declared opposition to coal seam gas (CSG) development by adding ‘Gasfield Free’ signs to existing entry and locality signs.

The move, backed by the Gasfield Free Northern Rivers and Lock the Gate Tweed campaigns, is set to be debated on Thursday and is expected to get the green light from the progressive majority on council.

The proposal for the new additions to the signs went on public exhibition recently and drew overwhelming support, with 392 of 458 responses ‘for’ and 62 ‘against’.

But a Tweed business group claims it’s a waste of ratepayer money (the cost of the proposed 11 new signs is just over $2,000) and sends the wrong message to businesses looking to invest in the shire.

The Tweed Heads Chamber of Commerce and Industry also claimed that the signs were ‘inconsistent with the objectives’ of the Tweed’s peak tourism body, Destination Tweed, but the tourism organisation’s chief says the proposed new signs are ‘quite benign’ and he had no real objection to them.

Council staff have recommend the installation of 11 CSG-free signs mounted on new and existing entry and locality signs throughout the Tweed.

Staff say that simply mounting a smaller sign with the CSG-free wording onto the existing Tweed shire signs would help in ‘mitigating Council’s risk of damaging the relationship with the state government by ensuring the signs do not present Council as a lobbying group’, as well as minimising the risk of graffiti and cost of removal.

The Roads and Maritime Service objected to council’s request to instal similar signs on the state-owned road reserve along the Pacific Highway at the northern and southern entrances to the shire, saying they would not meet its minimum standards and would only be suitable for low-speed road environments.

The Banora Point Residents Association also objected to the signs. Secretary Pat Tate told council that the signs could set a precedent for ‘some other group to pressure council on an issue’.

But Mrs Tate pointed out that objection to the signs did not mean its members agreed or disagreed on the arguments over the CSG issue.

In her letter, Tweed Heads Chamber of Commerce secretary Maggie Ann Leybourne said the chamber, which she claimed had 1,000 members, objected to the signs because ‘this is not the message council should convey to visitors and investors alike’ who cross the border into the Tweed.

She said that if implemented, the policy would turn people away who are thinking of starting a business in the Tweed ‘that may be a little left of field’.

In his letter to council Destination Tweed’s CEO Bill Tatchell said a recent radio news report saying his group was opposed to the signs was inaccurate, wished council luck with the proposal and said his organisation was happy to be part of the process.

Council senior officer David Oxenham in his report repeated the incorrect information, saying the Tweed Heads business chamber, Banora Point Residents Association and Destination Tweed were opposed to the signs.

But Mr Oxenham told Echonetdaily his report ‘incorrectly advises that Destination Tweed opposes the signage. The report will be corrected and reissued’.

Mr Tatchell (Destination Tweed CEO) told Echonetdaily that initially he had been ‘led to believe’ the new signs would be a ‘giant bold political statement’ which gave a negative message.

But on learning about the size, placement and look of the new signs, he said ‘they’re really no big deal’, the signs were a ‘simple statement’ on the CSG issue, and that the negativity may have been part of a ‘scaremongering campaign’.

Deputy mayor Michael Armstrong has foreshadowed a motion, to be put to Tweed Shire Council on Thursday, that welcomes the policy announcement from the recent NSW Labor conference in support  of an immediate moratorium on all CSG activities and licences on the north coast. The Labor policy announcement also calls for those areas to be declared ‘CSG Free’ and ‘therefore be off limits to the coal seam gas and unconventional gas industries’.

Mr Armstrong’s motion also calls on the coalition government to support the moratorium.

 

 


Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.

3 COMMENTS

  1. Sorry, Maggie Leybourne, but this is EXACTLY the type of message that Council should be conveying to visitors and investors that cross the border. The message is simple – business that places our environment, and that of our children at risk are NOT welcome. Sorry if that conflicts with the short term “commercial gain , political expediency” view of the world, but if so, tell them to stay in Queensland!!

  2. By the end of the year, the shire will be gas-free as well as contracts and supply dries up to satisfy those played for fools by Lock the Gate on behalf of a diesel service station chain.

  3. Dear Sceptical, I agree with you that it exactly the type of message that should be conveyed to visitors and investors alike but we don’t want them in Qld either! It’s horrendous to see the environmental damage being done to Qld all for the sake of the almighty $.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Protections can’t wait another seven years for NSW critical habitat 

Protections are needed now for native habitat in NSW as the state has seen a significant increase in native habitat clearing following the NSW...

Appeal following attempted abduction – Tweed Heads

Investigators are appealing for public assistance as investigations continue into an attempted abduction in Tweed Heads at the weekend.

Floodplain fury

With the two-year flood anniversary being recognised this week, Council appears to be pushing on with its plans to seek approval from the state government for floodplain development in Mullumbimby. 

Native title holders defend Wallum DA endorsement

Leweena Williams, representing the Tweed Byron Aboriginal Land Council, told councillors at Thursday’s meeting that her organisation stands by their cultural assessment of the Bruns Wallum site, which is slated for urban development by Clarence Property.