Lock the Gate's Tweed organisers Michael and Julie McNamara.
Lock the Gate's Tweed organisers Michael and Julie McNamara. Contributed

Bilambil on anti-CSG bandwagon

BILAMBIL has become the fourth community in the Tweed Shire to endorse a proposition to make the community coal seam gas free in protest against mining of the gas form.

A community meeting voted unanimously on Tuesday to endorse the proposition to take up the CSG-free Communities initiative.

Residents who attended the meeting broke into road groups to plan how they would survey friends and neighbours who were unable to attend the meeting.

Last week, Tweed mayor Barry Longland showed his support for the Tweed-wide initiative by handing out CSG free signs at Tyalgum.

He said Tweed Shire Council opposed coal seam gas mining due mainly to a lack of information on its impact on the land.

The Lock the Gate Alliance is leading the charge against CSG mining, with Lock the Gate - Tweed organiser Michael McNamara saying opposition to the practice was backed up by solid fact.

"A survey of residents along local roads ensures that the call for the community to be CSG-free actually has broad community support in the Bilambil area," Mr McNamara said.

"This is the first time that the community has been given a chance to express its opinion about the coal seam gas industry being developed in their local area.

"This is an opportunity that has never been afforded to local communities by the government or the coal seam gas industry."

"Recent declarations of other Northern Rivers communities as CSV-free, including Tyalgum in the west of the Tweed Valley, are backed up by hard data."

Mr McNamara said that in the almost 20 communities across the Northern Rivers that had declared themselves CSG-free the level of support for the declaration was running at more than 96%.

Communities that have already taken up the initiative include Tyalgum, Crystal Creek, Bilambil and the Upper Tweed including Doon, Kunghur and Mt Burrell.

Community meetings to explain and kick off the initiative will be held in coming weeks at Chillingham, Stokers Siding and Burringbar.

"The meetings give local communities an opportunity to express a community view about the desirability and demand for this type of development locally," Mr McNamara said.

The Chillingham meeting is on Tuesday July 17 at the Community Hall, while the Burringbar meeting will be on Tuesday July 24 at the Burringbar Sports Club.

Stokers Siding will hold its meeting on Thursday July 26 at the Community Hall.

All meetings start at 7pm.

For more information contact Michael McNamara on 6679 3013 or by email at lockthegate.tweed@gmail.com.

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