Council will support coal gas ban

THE Clarence Valley Council has joined a growing list of councils across the state supporting a moratorium on coal seam gas (CSG) exploration and mining.

Cr Margaret McKenna told a meeting of the council this week there were real concerns about the protection of the environment and landowners’ rights that needed to be investigated further before mining proceeded.

“Most of our neighbouring councils have taken this step,” she said.

“I am asking for your support to stand up for our residents and environment,” she said.

Councillors agreed to lobby Premier Barry O’Farrell, Resources and Energy Minister Chris Hartcher and Member for Clarence Steve Cansdell to implement a moratorium until “extensive and independent environmental impact statements have been concluded on the effects on the environment”.

That, councillors agreed, should focus on the protection of ground and surface water from pollution and environmental disturbance; community health and safety; maintenance of biodiversity; respect for landowner rights, and; avoiding impact on agriculture and tourism.

They also agreed to lobby a range of members of the Federal Government, from the prime minister down, for the issue to be raised on a federal level.

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