News

Gasfields tour provides valuable insights

Richmond Valley councillors have returned from a two-day tour of Queensland gasfields while hundreds gathered at Mullumbimby to hear Arakwal and Githabul representatives explain why they opposed a petroleum exploration licence for the NSW Aboriginal Land Council.
Richmond Valley councillors have returned from a two-day tour of Queensland gasfields while hundreds gathered at Mullumbimby to hear Arakwal and Githabul representatives explain why they opposed a petroleum exploration licence for the NSW Aboriginal Land Council. Mireille Merlet-Shaw

UPDATE, 11am: Richmond Valley Council senior staff and councillors have just returned from a two day fact-finding mission to the CSG fields on Queensland's Darling Downs.

Richmond Valley mayor Ernie Bennett said the expedition met with a range of groups and individuals in Dalby, Tara, Chinchilla and surrounds, including their council counterparts at the Western Downs Regional Council headquartered in Dalby.

"We were there to find out from the council's point of view about the whole economic development of the industry," Cr Bennett said. 

"It's not just how we accommodate an influx of a thousand workers... because that then brings on other economic development and other people need to come to town."

Cr Bennet suggested Western Downs Regional Council was certainly not providing an open slather for the CSG industry.

"You could detect that some councillors still had a really close watch over the whole thing," he said.

He also mentioned he was surprised by minor visual impact of the wells.

"There wasn't as many wells visually as I thought there'd be."

The group visited a 3000ha cropping property whose owner led a local sustainability group, and met individuals in Tara who 'claim to have had health issues as a result of gas-field activity.'

A visit to two gas-fired power stations and the Arrow Energy office in Dalby also provided them with an insight into the industry's presence in the area.

Council are now meeting with representatives from Queensland departments of Natural Resources, Mines, Health, and Environment, local MPs and senior executives from Metgasco.

A council position statement on CSG is expected to be released prior to Christmas once these meetings have been completed.

 

8.30am: Richmond Valley Council is arranging a meeting with local State MPs and coal seam gas companies operating on the Northern Rivers after a two-day tour of Queensland's gas fields.

However, the councillors are not saying whether the trip has convinced them of the benefits of the industry or reinforced concerns about its impact.

The councillors voted several weeks ago to embark on the tour to give themselves a better understanding of how coal seam gas drilling worked and the impact it had on surrounding communities.

In a statement, Richmond Valley Council general manager John Walker said councillors on the trip met with people and organisations "who provided input from all sides of the issue".

"The Council visited the areas of Dalby, Tara and Chinchilla and met with representatives of local and state governments, as well as land owners and representatives and opponents of the industry," Mr Walker was quoted saying in the statement.

"We also heard from people who claim to have had health issues as result of gas-field activity."

Richmond Valley Mayor Ernie Bennett said the council would now prepare a a position statement on its approach to the coal seam gas industry in the Richmond Valley council area. The statement was expected to be finished before Christmas.

"Council is satisfied with the information and knowledge obtained from the visit, however, there will be no specific comments made until Council's position is determined," Cr Bennett was quoted saying in the statement.

The return of the Richmond Valley councillors came as more 300 people gathered at the Byron Shire Council chambers at Mullumbimby to hear the detail of an application by the NSW Aboriginal Land Council for an exploration licence on the Northern Rivers.

The application has been opposed by Byron Shire Council and local traditional owners who have said they were not consulted by the Land Council about the application.

ABC Radio has reported the meeting was addressed by members of the Arakwal and Githabul clans opposing the application and been told by Byron Shire Mayor Simon Richardson the meeting was so crowded he had to sit on the floor.

"I suspected it was going to be large and when I first got here and I couldn't get in the door, I was slightly surprised about that, and when I had to, sort of, sit on the ground - I mean, it was wonderful wasn't it. There was hundreds here and there wasn't a square piece of carpet and it was wonderful for a community-building exercise as much as a CSG focus," Cr Richardson said.

Topics:  csg, richmond valley council



Dredging to go ahead at Cudgen Creek

A sand-pumping boat at the Tweed River. Dredging will take place at Cudgen Creek soon.

Dredging to go ahead on lower reach of Cudgen Creek

Balance your iron, thyroid hormones

Tired businesswoman in the office

Learning to balance your thyroid and your iron

Latest deals and offers

The true cost of 60 Minutes debacle revealed

It's a bill that would make even a silk tied barrister blush

Kirk Douglas is defiant, fierce and still standing

VETERAN ACTOR: Kirk Douglas has had a long and varied career.

Kirk Douglas has out-lived almost all his contemporaries

The Hard Word reviews Kyzer Soze

Kyzer Soze are playing Brisbane tomorrow at the Crowbar in Fortitude Valley. Photo Contributed

Kyzer Soze summon the evil for this mighty slab of death metal

Britney Spears 'almost drowned' in Hawaii

Britney Spears has revealed she 'almost drowned' while on holiday

Doco reveals real story behind Black Hawk Down

Former Black Hawk pilot Mike Durant shares his story, which helped to inspire the movie Black Hawk Down, in the TV series No Man Left Behind.

FORMER pilot recounts ordeal which inspired a Hollywood movie.

What's on the big screen this week

Toby Kebbell and Jack Huston in a scene from the movie Ben-Hur.

AN OLD classic returns to the big screen with a new young star.

ISLAND FOR SALE: Cheap Fraser Coast island drops price again

Suna Island in the Great Sandy Strait will be auctioned by Ray White Hervey Bay on Saturday morning.

This is the cheapest island you will find for sale in Australia

How a family home can fit on a 250sq m block

This is what you can build on 250m2.

Here's the floor plan of a home built on 250sq m

Investors eye Gladstone's $4m island with resort approval

UP FOR SALE: Turtle Island is on the market.

CHINESE and Sydney investors flag interest in Gladstone island.

Take a sneak peek at this $19m Whitsunday mansion

Mandalay House features a private helipad.

Mandalay is currently on the market with an asking price of $19m

Guess which Sunshine Coast suburb cracked the million dollar list?

This four-bedroom home at 26 McAnally Dr, Sunshine Beach was for sale for $7 million.

List of Australia's five most-expensive suburbs

Does it get any better than this? Check out this $2M home

LUXURY LIVING: The Coral Cove home built by Steve Coates Constructions that took out the best home over $2 million and the Wide Bay Burnett House of the Year at the Master Builders Wide Bay Burnett Housing and Construction Awards.

Wide Bay's best home is right on our doorstep