Anti-coal seam gas activists will converge in Lismore today as the NSW Planning Department arrives to brief the Lismore City Council on the draft North Coast Regional Plan.
They are demanding that all references to coal seam gas mining be removed from the proposed plan.
The action follows a decision by a majority of Lismore councillors at last week’s meeting to to reject any reference made to CSG in the proposed plan, to declare the region CSG free with legislative protection and to seek support from all northern rivers local councils.
Gasfield Free Northern Rivers spokesperson Dean Draper said the people of Lismore, Casino and Kyogle had been left out of the briefings.
‘It’s just not good enough, so we are here today to send our message to the planning department,’ Mr Draper said.
‘They should be offering a community briefing in Lismore so that we can clearly send our message to Minister Stokes and Premier Baird, that this regional plan must be amended to remove the references to CSG that it currently includes.
‘As well as this removal we are demanding that the plan clearly spells out that there will be no unconventional gas exploration at all for the life of the plan. We want it made very clear that the northern rivers is a no-go zone for unconventional gas.
‘We applauded the Baird government for their actions earlier this year, buying back the licences covering our region, and we want to see them stay the course.
‘We want a government that reinforces its actions in writing, and what better place to put their intentions to protect the Northern Rivers than the Regional Plan for the North Coast.
‘We’re currently seeing an influx of Labor politicians, who are here to woo the people of the Northern Rivers. They clearly know what we want and are here seeking our votes. This NSW government, and the National Party risk losing the people of the Northern Rivers forever if they don’t thoroughly follow through with complete protection for our region.
‘Promises must be put in to action, the government must make it crystal clear what their intentions are for our region. If this government thinks that we will not remain vigilant then they are in for a rude awakening. We are resolute, determined and ever-watchful for any threat to our region.’
The action at the Lismore council chambers in Goonellabah will take place at 11am, which is when the planning department staff are due to arrive.