CSG Rally/Protest at Murwillumbah Photo Blainey Woodham / Daily News
CSG Rally/Protest at Murwillumbah Photo Blainey Woodham / Daily News Blainey Woodham

Council votes to stand firm against coal seam gas mining

TWEED Shire Council has pulled no punches in its stand against coal seam gas mining on the Tweed.

At last night's general meeting councillors voted 6-1 to support a moratorium on coal seam gas exploration, with mayor Barry Longland moving that the council declares and actively promotes that the shire be free of CSG and other "unconventional gas operations."

Cr Phil Youngblutt was the only councillor to vote against a 100% opposition to CSG because he believes there is "no issue."

"I'm not against a moratorium on CSG mining on the Tweed," he said.

"But I think my fellow councillors have gone over the top on this issue.

"A recent workshop held with a NSW Mining geologist convinced me that the mining process is fail-safe and that the management plan is sound.

"But we also learned that there won't be any CSG mining on the Tweed.

"There is no gas to be mined in the Shire, so there is no issue.

"There's just a lot of political grandstanding that's simply unnecessary.

"It's nonsense."

Cr Youngblutt also said the matter was in the hands of the NSW Government.

The mayor said Cr Youngblutt's comments give the wrong message to mining companies.

"Last night's meeting was a resounding recognition of community opinion on the issue of CSG," he said.

"It may well be the case that there are no deposits of commercial value in the Tweed.

"But we can't afford to be complacent.

"There are already mining companies extending their application for exploration across the shire and we can't take the risk of them exploiting it.

"We need to send a clear message that we don't want CSG mining in the Tweed and we can't be half-hearted about it."

The council voted to call on local state and federal members of parliament to express support for the council's position on CSG mining and to seek a review of the NSW government's Strategic Regional Land Use Policy.

"It fails to rule out CSG development on productive agricultural land and sensitive environmental areas," according to the motion.

Councillors also moved to make a submission that planning powers be delegated to local government with regard to consideration of development applications that deal with mining or gas extraction.

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