11.5 C
Byron Shire
June 24, 2024

Farmers reject CSG compensation scheme

Latest News

$6.8 million Tweed pound contract awarded

The Tweed Shire Council has awarded a $6.8 million contract for design and construction of a new state-of-the-art animal pound and rehoming centre.

Other News

Byron business perspectives in a tough winter 

Having traded in Byron Bay for 47 years, Skallyrags owner, Rob Bass, said he’s never seen a winter like this one.

Byron Council candidates jostle for position

It was the type of motion that comes up at Byron Council quite regularly – a broad, uncontroversial political statement that is unlikely to make a difference in the grand scheme of things. 

Editorial – Let’s learn about government housing!

With all the noise and fury over the lack of ‘affordable housing’, it might be useful to define what different types there are in Australia’s market-based housing system. 

Driven with soul

Under a different stage name Milo Green is an award-winning songwriter and musician who has supported iconic artists like Diesel, Dragon, Josh Pyke, Glen Shorrock (Little River Band) and more.

Daniel Mookhey walks the line with NSW budget

NSW Treasurer Daniel Mookhey's second budget in nine months, unveiled last week, was a classic Labor document in its support for education and health, somewhat brave in its slugging of property investors, and disingenuous in its blaming of the GST carve-up for the financial woes of NSW going forward.

Yes, peace is the solution

Both Duncan Shipley-Smith and John Scrivener yet again display the same responses that I talk about over, and over...

Ed Robinson and his family have lived in Gloucester for almost 18 years. He says clean water and clean air were part of the reason they moved to the area. Photo Eve Jeffery.
Ed Robinson and his family have lived in Gloucester for almost 18 years. He says clean water and clean air were part of the reason they moved to the area. Photo Eve Jeffery.

Chris Dobney

With the state government poised to announce its acceptance of the chief scientist’s report into CSG, northern NSW farmers are warning that attempts to buy them off with compensation packages won’t work.

And many are worried that if the proposed packages target only those landholders whose properties are used for gas wells, it will further exacerbate the inequalities already felt in rural areas that have been swallowed up by gasfields.

The state government was set to announce its response to chief scientist Mary O’Kane’s report into the industry yesterday but was pre-empted by an article in the Daily Telegraph, which reportedly angered some National Party backbenchers who have been opposing the industry in their areas.

A joint party room meeting is scheduled for today ahead of the delayed announcement.

Peter and Meg Nielsen of Bentley are among those rejecting the scheme. The couple were staunch supporters of the Bentley blockade and are calling for Metgasco’s CSG licence over their area to be cancelled.

‘We’re very angered by this approach,’ Ms Nielsen told Echonetdaily.

‘It’s going to be extremely divisive for the community and it’s not going to address in any way the issues of water’ she said.

‘All our creeks and dams on our farms are fed by springs and we simply cannot have any interference with our water supply.

‘The green belt is so essential for the future of Australian food production and the government us just playing games.

‘The chief scientist made it very clear in her report that fracking effects the pressurisation of the groundwater, that it was opening up pathways that allowed the water to migrate so it’s no longer available for fresh water supply.

‘Even Rick Wilkinson from APPEA has accepted that fracking depressurises aquifers, lowers the water table and lowers the water pressure of springs. All the water supply here is reliant on springs that flow into creeks and dams. There can be no food production if the water supply is interfered with,’ Ms Neilsen said.

She added local farmers had made ‘numerous visits to governments in Sydney and to our own local representatives’ over the issue.

‘Most of them perfectly well understand that this area is completely inappropriate for CSG. There are 42 different risk factors that directly apply to fracking. We are very disturbed that the government is using a form of bribery to make farmers complicit in the destruction of our own livelihoods and futures.’

‘Individual farmers who are just hanging on, who are struggling with drought, are going to be tempted by the money,’ Ms Neilsen said.

Kyogle grazier Don Durrant concurs.

Money won’t fix it

‘Many of us here in the Richmond Valley are increasingly dependent on underground water. If that water is contaminated or the creeks and dams that rely on underground water are affected, money is just not going to fix that,’ Mr Durrant said.

Gloucester farmers are also concerned about their livelihoods and the future value of their land if CSG is allowed to go ahead there.

Ed Robinson has a 400-acre beef cattle farm just a few hundred metres from where AGL is currently fracking. The property has double frontage to the river and 80 acres of his property are flood plains.

‘Let’s see the devil in the detail of the policy. Too many times has this government lied to us. As a farmer, I want any new laws to address the risks of coal and gas mining to water, particularly the cumulative impacts,’ said Robinson.

‘Water and rivers are a significant feature of my property and nobody can tell me what’s going to happen if it’s fracked for coal seam gas, particularly in dry times. When we ask the government and AGL about the impacts of coal seam gas on water, their answer is “I don’t know”. Well that’s not good enough,’ he said.

Govt sided with industry

Greens candidate for Lismore and former Gasfields Free Northern Rivers, Adam Guise, is says he is ‘outraged that the government has sided with the gas industry and betrayed the northern rivers community in its response to the chief scientist’s report’.

‘Quite simply the government is trying to buy off the community. No amount of promised compensation will restore polluted farmland or fix poisoned aquifers. Monitoring and training gas workers will not protect our land and water, Mr Guise said’

‘It is disgraceful that the government forces the coal seam gas industry upon us when we just had 8000 people march through Lismore calling for cancellation of gas licences over the region.

‘Our government is clearly not listening to the community. As long time National Party MP Don Page now supports the community’s call for a Gasfield Free Northern Rivers, why doesn’t his National Party colleague Thomas George do the same?

More stories tagged CSG

Commemorating ten years since V Day at Bentley

It's ten years today since a wave of relief spread through Camp Liberty at Bentley, when those gathered discovered that the riot police would not be coming, and gas company Metgasco was being referred to ICAC by the NSW government.

1
Photo David Lowe.

Almost ten years since the Northern Rivers made history at Bentley

With hundreds of riot police expected to confront thousands of protectors on site at the Bentley blockade, west of Lismore, it was a great relief to many when the NSW government suspended Metgasco's Petroleum Exploration Licence on 15 May 2014, effectively handing a historic win to the community.

0

Remembering Deb Whitley

On Saturday a large group of friends and family gathered to remember 'eco-warrior' Deb Whitley at her beautiful property in Glenugie, south of Grafton.

0

Nurses and midwives support Gomeroi people in fight against Santos Narrabri...

With tensions and gas wells heating up in the Pilliga, the NSW Nurses and Midwives’ Association say they are standing in solidarity with the Gomeroi people in their fight for land rights and opposition of the expansion of fossil fuel extraction in Narrabri, on Gomeroi land.

1

Origin walks away from Beetaloo Basin

In a major victory for community pressure and investor activism, Origin Energy announced yesterday that they would divest 100 per cent of their gas interests in the Northern Territory's massive Beetaloo Basin, along with fracking plans in the Lake Eyre Basin and WA's Kimberley region.

1

 


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.

6 COMMENTS

  1. These politicians and business people who think it is all about money are indescribably foolish! They need to be sacked, as they continue to ignore those that they are duty bound to represent. Insufferable puppets!

  2. DON PAGE IS RETIRING (A LONG TIME COMING). HE WANTS THE COMMUNITY TO LIKE HIM. THE SOONER PEOPLE REALISE THAT THE MAJORITY OF POLITICIANS ARE CAPABLE OF GREAT DUPLICITY THE BETTER IT WILL BE FOR ALL. No coal Seam Gas does not suit the National Party. There is too much to loose when advocating higher principles in the political world. Bentley taught us all about people power. Lets continue this movement and practice being trans-political.

  3. Should we be surprised???? Further proof that the LNP only ever consider how they can assist, placate and subsidise big business at the expense of community, they hold us their constituents and ultimately their employers with complete contempt.

  4. The farmers are being asked (or told?) to sell their grandma…. only it’s not just their grandma, it’s ours, and everybody’s…. good old Mother Earth!

  5. I think we’re all enough of the bullshit from the pollies who really don’t have a clue about the evniroment or the people they are supposed to represent. When are they ever going to wake up!

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Curtains up on Byron High’s debut musical

After many months of hard work and rehearsing, Byron Bay High School students and staff  are about to perform their musical whodunnit on June...

Wallum developer welcomes arrests

The developer behind the beleaguered Wallum urban subdivision on rare and sensitive land in Brunswick Heads welcomed the recent arrests of protectors who have blockaded the site over the last four months.

Fresh police appeal for witnesses in Gage Wilson case

Police have issued a fresh public appeal for witnesses in the case of missing Mullumbimby man Gage Wilson.

Ballina MP mostly welcomes state budget announcements

Greens Member for Ballina Tamara Smith has welcomed some of Labor’s funding announcements in last week’s state budget, including a new Fire and Rescue station for Byron Bay and more firies.