Tourism bodies back CSG freeze
DESTINATION Tweed and Northern Rivers Tourism (NRT) have thrown their support behind a moratorium on all coal seam gas mining in NSW until further, more conclusive evidence about its impact is established.
NRT has written to the Tourism Industry Council of NSW calling for them to write to state and federal governments to ensure that the state's $28.7 billion tourism industry is safeguarded in strategic land use decisions and policies.
For Destination Tweed CEO Bill Tatchell, the fight has a local focus.
"We've supported NRT and the Tweed Shire Council in its unanimous vote for a moratorium and take the stance ourselves," Mr Tatchell said.
"One of the key attributes of the Tweed is the natural environment and we need to protect that."
NRT CEO Russell Mills has acknowledged the economic benefits of coal seam gas mining but wants to see stricter regulation.
"If not adequately managed and regulated, coal seam gas mining risks having significant, long-term and adverse impacts on the natural landscape and on adjacent surface and groundwater systems," Mr Mills said.
"The Northern Rivers takes a lead from the natural landscapes and rural character in which we live.
"It is these assets and character which inform our reputation amongst visitors and which generate billions of dollars of tourism income for the region and the state.
NRT has also written to Regional Development Australia Northern Rivers seeking to collaborate on independent research on the economic impacts of coal seam gas mining on the Northern Rivers, including the impact on existing industries like tourism.