Mayor rejects call to pay for CSG baseline testing

LOCAL government funding of baseline water testing to help hold CSG miners to account would be a waste of $90,000 of ratepayers' money says Clarence Valley Mayor Richie Williamson.

Cr Williamson dismissed a call from Ballina Deputy Mayor Sue Meehan for Northern Rivers councils, under the banner of the Northern Rivers Regional Organisation of Councils (NOROC), to fund the testing.

Cr Williamson said he understood baseline water testing had been costed at about $90,000.

"Getting baseline testing done is not something local government should be doing. It is ratepayers' money we would be spending, when the job should be done by industry and the state government," Cr Williamson said.

"If the roads were paved with gold, if ratepayers were completely satisfied with the work of the council around the place, then this is something we could consider.

"But we don't have that sort of money to spend when we can see how much stress local infrastructure is under."

The mayor said he supported the concept of baseline testing to help hold CSG miners to account.

"Our job should be to badger the State Government to regulate the industry and to make sure those regulations are enforced," he said.

"Baseline water test readings give the regulator information to do that."

Cr Williams said he did not support hydraulic fracturing (fracking) as a CSG method.

"It should be outlawed," he said.

"If a CSG miner says they need to frack to get gas out, we should be able so say no, go away and find another method to get it out."

Topics:  glenugie, protest

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