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July 28, 2021

NSW Labor to declare CSG free region policy

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Lock the Gate spokesman Ian Gaillard, right, points to where Metgasco wanted to drill for gas during a visit in May to the Bentley camp by opposition leader John Robertson (green shirt) Lismore Cr Isaac Smith, left, and Labor's north coast spokesman Walt Secord. (file photo supplied
Lock the Gate spokesman Ian Gaillard, right, points to where Metgasco wanted to drill for gas during a visit in May to the Bentley camp by opposition leader John Robertson (green shirt), Lismore Cr Isaac Smith, left, and Labor’s north coast spokesman Walt Secord. (file photo supplied)

NSW Labor leader John Robertson is set to arrive in Lismore tomorrow (Tuesday) to announce that a Labor government would declare the north coast a CSG and unconventional gas free zone.

Such a ban would apply to Ballina, Byron, Kyogle, Lismore, Tweed and Richmond Valley shire council areas.

Mr Robertson will be joined at the announcement by the north coast Labor team of Isaac Smith (Lismore), Paul Spooner (Ballina) and Ron Goodman (Tweed).

Shadow environment minister Luke Foley and shadow health minister Walt Secord are also expected to attend the announcement in Riverside Park at Lismore.

It’s understood the park was chosen as it was the site of the original protest where 8,000 residents rallied against CSG and unconventional gas mining on the north coast.

The policy announcement will place increasing pressure on sitting Nationals member Thomas George, who has readily admitted that the CSG issue has cost his party support.

Meanwhile, the NSW government announced last week that it was extending its ban on new CSG exploration licence applications for another year.

NSW energy and resources minister Anthony Roberts said the freeze on licences would be extended by another year, allowing the Office of Coal Seam Gas (OCSG) to complete its ‘comprehensive examination’ of current licences and applications and giving the government more time to assess the application process.

The Liberal Nationals coalition government has refused to be drawn on repeated calls for the north coast to be declared gas free, leaving State Labor’s new policy a potential vote changer.

And while Labor’s policy will be widely welcomed, the Australian Greens have led the charge for several years in pushing for a gas-free region.


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  1. What about the rest of NSW where communites are struggling against the CSG scurge? Not good enough Labor! The watertable doesn’t stop at a LGA boundary.

    Also, why isn’t Clarence Valley Council area included in Labor’s CSG ban?

  2. The exploration licences were granted under a Labor State Govt. Former Federal ALP Ministers Martin Ferguson and Greg Combet have jobs respectivley with APPEA and AGL. The ALP needs to completely rethink it’s policies in regards to all fossil fuels and esp CSG. We don’t just want election promises,we want generational change. Get rid of the dinosaurs in the party that are too cosy with the mining companies and are OK with destroying the envorinment for a few short term jobs . Having said that, Issac Smith is a great progressive ALP candidate and is genuinely anti-CSG and is not a johnny-come-lately to the issue (I’m talking about you John Robertson). And if you vote Green, don’t exhaust your vote- preference Issac.

  3. What about the Clarence River Valley, where there’s the threat of a coal port at Yamba? And a coal-train rail line to feed it from Whitehaven’s mining in the massacred Leard Forest?

  4. State Labour obviously need a map of the Northern Rivers. They forgot the Clarence Valley, making up approximately 1/2 the area of the region. What was their criteria for protecting Ballina, Byron, Kyogle, Lismore, Tweed and Richmond Valley shires over the Clarence Valley?

  5. Lest we forget the ALP issued all these licenses.

    Don’t trust them. This is one of those disgusting election ploys to appease community anguish. They will stoop as low to tell us what we want to hear, and then reneg later when they want to raise state revenue.

    And goodness forbid they extend it state wide.


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