Fighting to delay coal gas mining

A TWEED lobby group has joined with an Australia-wide union of farmers and conservationists to oppose the exploration and mining of coal-seam gas in the Tweed shire.

The Northern Rivers Guardians, which evolved out of the Murwillumbah-based No Rally group that opposed the 2009 world car rally championship held on national park and rural roads, has joined forces with the Lock the Gates Alliance.

That group includes environmentalists, farmers, rural landowners and even Northern Rivers Arabian horse enthusiasts who fear drilling for coal-seam gas will poison vital underground water supplies.

NGR spokesman Michael McNamara yesterday said the issue was “really taking off in the local community and we are being swamped by people keen and eager to fight it”.

“It has generated a very broad-based coalition,” Mr McNamara said.

Mr McNamara said the Northern Rivers Guardians condemned “the rush” by the former Labor state government to approve the exploration licences in the Tweed shire.

The group is calling for a moratorium on exploration and mining until all concerns have been addressed and the process is proven to be safe.

“This technology puts secure water supplies at such risk it should not even be considered until all concerns have been dealt with and it is proven to be safe,” Mr McNamara said.

“If you look at the map of exploration licences, either approved or applied for, it covers everything in the Tweed shire west and south of Mt Warning.

“The community is rallying against the imposition of this technology on the area.”

“Coal-seam gas mining, or fracking, as it is known, involves fracturing the coal seam to release methane gas. Methane is many times more dangerous as a contributor to global warming than CO2.

“The Northern Rivers Guardians have joined with the Lock the Gate Alliance to stop coal-seam gas mining in the Tweed.”



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