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



Our six art gallery picks for a creative day out

YOU may not associate Brisbane with a burgeoning art scene, but you’d be mistaken.

Six hideaway bars to escape winter chill

The Gresham's charm will win you over before your first sip.

THESE are the perfect places to hang this winter.

Brisbane's arts and culture events centre stage

You loved the film, now you're about to love the musical. Don't miss The Bodyguard The Musical in Brisbane this July.

THE arts and culture events you don't want to miss.

Homewares stores to fulfil your Instagram dreams

No Caption

You too can become an Insta-star with these fab stores.

Date nights under $50

Nothing is more romantic than a picnic with a cracking view.

NOT every date has to cost you a bomb.

Top 10 Brisbane experiences to cross off your bucket list

Do yourself a favour and get amongst the food truck scene. Eat Street is a great place to start.

A GOOD bucket list doesn’t have to span continents or cost millions.

Six mega sporting events you need to be at this year

Don't miss all the action trackside this season.

IF THERE is one thing Brisbane does damn well, it’s play host.

Woman dies in tinny collision in Queensland

Police are investigating the collision of two boats on the Gold Coast.

Tinny collided with seven metre cruiser

How to push your happiness buttons

BRAINY BOOST: Exercise is a natural way to boost your endorphins and happiness.

Manipulating the neurotransmitters that make you feel good.

Local Partners

Six things you never knew about Men in Black

IT’S been 20 years since Men in Black first hit cinemas. Makes you feel old, doesn’t it?

10 strange stories behind famous sex scenes

Khaleesi and Khal Drogo in a steamy moment.

Every set has their own way of filming sex scenes

HBO spills new details on Game of Thrones’ final season

Game of Thrones’ eighth and final season will only have six episodes.

New details about what to expect from the eighth, final instalment.

Karl’s rant on Corby: ‘Made to look like idiots’

Karl Stefanovic is sick of hearing about Schapelle Corby.

Today co-host launched a tirade against Schapelle Corby media circus

Shot at the live shows slips through Sally's fingers

Sally Skelton and Bojesse Pigram pictured after their battle performance on The Voice.

Sunshine Coast singer's dramatic elimination from The Voice

Gympie's Caitlyn Shadbolt releases debut album in concert

Caitlyn Shadbolt has launched her debut album in a concert at the Gympie Civic Centre on Sunday afternoon.

Caitlyn Shadbolt releases debut album in Gympie concert

Ben Stiller and Christine Taylor split after 17 years

They were married in May 2000 and have two children, who they said will remain their priority.

Ben Stiller and his wife Christine Taylor have called it a day

This is real estate's billion-dollar man

Bob Wolff at AREC with John McGrath of McGrath Real Estate.

They don’t call him the “Billion dollar man” for nothing

Man's amazing comeback from monster crisis

Pat O'Driscoll agents Penny Keating and Doug Webber sold 56 Agnes St, The Range at auction over the weekend.

NOT long ago, he sold his possessions to pay staff. Now he's back.

How Toowoomba house prices compare in Australia

For sale sign in front of home.

Here's what $700,000 will buy you in Toowoomba, Brisbane and Sydney

One of Maryborough's most historic homes is still for sale

FULL OF HISTORY: Trisha Moulds is owner of the historic Tinana state known as Rosehill. The beautiful home is currently for sale.

It has been the scene of both joy and tragedies over the years.

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!