The National Party has confirmed its plans to turn our beautiful northern rivers into a coal seam gas field by renewing Dart Energy’s gas exploration licence.
Despite reductions in the exploration area, the licence to mine for CSG still covers the towns of Lismore, Kyogle, Nimbin, The Channon, Coraki and the surrounding water catchments that we all depend upon.
The water supply for Ballina and Byron shires remains in an area where CSG mining is still allowed. If CSG production pollutes the aquifers upstream, residents in Byron and Ballina will feel any health impacts.
It’s simply not good enough. The Nationals’ announcement is a political stunt designed to try and get them through the upcoming state election. Local farmers, business owners, environmentalists and grandparents have all come together to protect our land and water. We want a NSW powered by renewable energy, not dirty fossil fuels like CSG.
If the Nationals are serious about standing up for north coast communities they need to immediately cancel all exploration licences over the northern rivers – not just the bits that don’t have any CSG anyway.
The Greens are committed to a permanent ban on coal seam gas mining across the northern rivers, and the rest of NSW. If I’m elected at the state election in March, moving to cancel the CSG exploration licences in the northern rivers will be my top priority.
Tamara Smith, Greens candidate for Ballina