In the absence of a formal meeting north of Coffs Harbour to discuss the Draft North Coast Regional Plan, Ballina Environment Society has organised a Public Information Session on the subject tonight.
The meeting will also discuss Ballina shire’s E-zones, which were excised from the 2014 Local Environmental Plan (LEP) by the state government following lobbying by then state Nationals MPs, including Ballina’s Don Page.
Steve Barnier from Ballina Shire Council will provide an update on the state government review of environmental zones in the Ballina LEP and Nina Lucas from the Environmental Defenders Office (EDO) will talk about the devil in the detail of the Draft North Coast Regional Plan (NCRP).
Ballina councillor Jeff Johnson is urging residents to have their say on the NCRP before it is too late. Submissions close this Thursday (June 2).
‘If you want to see the northern rivers region declared a CSG exclusion zone then please take the time to write a submission to the NSW Draft North Coast Plan. It doesn’t have to be a long or detailed submission,’ Cr Jeff Johnson said.
‘Despite public assurances, it appears that both the state and federal governments are still promoting the “potential” for CSG mining in the northern rivers.
‘Until our region is declared an exclusion zone this issue will continue to bubble away like the Condamine River in SE Queensland (due to CSG drilling in the area).
‘Not only is CSG being promoted in the Draft North Coast Plan (state government document) but it has also been revealed that a NSW Government promotional CD was handed out to thousands of mining company executives promoting CSG opportunities on the north coast at a recent overseas mining conference.
‘Now who is running the show, the politicians we elect, the bureaucrats, or the multinational mining companies? Clearly it appears that the people are being told one thing, and the corporate donors another.
‘It’s time to let the NSW Government know once and for all that the northern rivers should be an exclusion zone and this needs to be articulated (and promoted) in the final version of the North Coast Plan,’ Cr Jeff Johnson said.
The meeting takes place tonight, Monday, May 30, at the Lighthouse Beach SLSC Function Room 1 from 7pm till 9pm.
Submissions close on the 2nd June and should be emailed to [email protected].