More villages join CSG-free idea
THE CSG-free Communities Initiative has taken the Tweed Valley by storm.
Last weekend Uki, Burringbar, Crabbes Creek and Mooball declared themselves coal-seam gas free.
This adds to the communities of Tyalgum, Crystal Creek, Doon Doon, Mt Burrell and Kunghur which were declared CSG-free last week.
Michael McNamara from Lock the Gate - Tweed said half the communities on the Tweed had now joined the initiative.
"I've never seen anything like it," he said.
"The most impressive fact is that when we started out on this campaign we were ready to settle for a simple majority.
"The lowest level of support has been 95.5% and the average level of support in the Tweed Shire for being CSG-free is running at over 97%.
"We have had support from all sections of the community, regardless of political affiliation."
Lock the Gate - Tweed ran a briefing for council election candidates on Thursday night in Murwillumbah.
"The briefing outlined issues relating to coal-seam gas exploration and production and options for councils to take to protect their community," Mr McNamara said.
"We will also be surveying candidates to seek commitments from them about what they will do if elected.
Mr McNamara claims the success of the campaign is "putting immense pressure" on candidates.
"We want them to indicate how they will demonstrate support for these very strong expressions of the community's will," he said.
"Communities expect candidates to commit to taking strong, positive action if elected to council.
"Lock the Gate - Tweed is conducting a survey of candidates to gain commitments to specific actions and policies that will help protect the Tweed shire from the threat posed by coal-seam gas exploration and production.
"We intend to make the results of that survey public before people vote on Saturday.
"That way, community members will be able to make a judgement about which candidates are more likely to act in a way that reflects the strong community views expressed through the CSG-free Communities initiative."