Menu

North Coast Plan a betrayal of community’s wishes

The NSW Government made a commitment to a Coal Seam Gas (CSG) free Northern Rivers before the last election that included the promise of buying back a number of exploration licenses in the region.

While the government made these commitments in the days leading up the last state election, due to one of the longest and most successful community based social movements that our region has ever seen, they deserved to be congratulated for supporting the community’s wishes. Unfortunately, it appears this win for our region maybe short lived.

The recently released Draft North Coast Plan makes specific mention of the Clarence-Moreton Basin coal seam and the ‘coal seam gas resources that may be able to support the development and growth of new industries’.

The report goes on to promote the government’s NSW Gas Plan, which establishes a ‘clear strategic framework to deliver world’s best-practice standards and regulation for the coal seam gas industry’.

Instead of promoting the ‘potential’ for CSG in our region, the government needs to support the community’s clearly expressed position and declare the northern rivers as a CSG/unconventional gas exclusion zone like it has for other regions.

A little over a year since being returned to government, we now have draconian new ‘anti-protest’ laws and a North Coast Plan talking up the prospect of CSG. Congratulations to Lismore councillor Simon Clough for taking the lead on this issue.

At the next meeting of Ballina Council, I’ll be asking for the councillors’ support in reaffirming our opposition to this industry and to call on the NSW Government to declare our region Gasfield Free. Anything less would be a betrayal of the clearly expressed wishes of our community.

Ballina Shire Cr Jeff Johnson

 


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

 

Become a supporter of The Echo

A note from the editorial team

Some of The Echo’s editorial team: journalists Paul Bibby and Aslan Shand, editor Hans Lovejoy, photographer Jeff Dawson and Mandy Nolan

The Echo has never underestimated the intelligence and passion of its readers. In a world of corporate banality and predictability, The Echo has worked hard for more than 30 years to help keep Byron and the north coast unique with quality local journalism and creative ideas. We think this area needs more voices, reasoned analysis and ideas than just those provided by News Corp, lifestyle mags, Facebook groups and corporate newsletters.

The Echo is one hundred per cent locally owned and one hundred per cent independent. As you have probably gathered from what is happening in the media industry, it is not cheap to produce a weekly newspaper and a daily online news service of any quality.

We have always relied entirely on advertising to fund our operations, but often loyal readers who value our local, independent journalism have asked how they could help ensure our survival.

Any support you can provide to The Echo will make an enormous difference. You can make a one-off contribution or a monthly one. With your help, we can continue to support a better informed local community and a healthier democracy for another 30 years.”

Echonetdaily is made possible by the support of all of our advertisers and is brought to you by this week's sponsor Brunswick Picture House.