Opposition to CSG grows
RESIDENTS of Braunstone, Lanitza, Kungala and Halfway Creek will declare their communities coal seam gas-free at a ceremony at the Lanitza/Kungala Fire Hall on Sunday.
Though numbers have not yet been finalised - organisers of a survey said some 350 landholders were asked: "Do you want your road/land CSG-free?"
The answer was an overwhelming "yes", said Kungala garlic farmer Christine Morris, with only two property owners saying they didn't want to participate and a number of owners of vacant properties unable to be contacted.
"We are showing the mining companies, the pollies and the wider community that we have a right to a clean life," she said.
Mrs Morris said most signatories of the declaration, including herself, had never protested over anything in their lives but felt compelled to stand strong on this issue because of the threat to the artesian basin under their land.
Prominent Halfway Creek artist Irene Daley, mother of Troy Cassar-Daley, has joined the movement against CSG and is campaigning for support within the Goorie community.
Kylie Kelly of Lanitza runs fish farms on her property and says the threat of CSG to her livelihood and her family's health was of great concern.
Though Ewingar declared itself a CSG-free community earlier this year, this is the first declaration co-ordinated by the Clarence Valley Alliance Against CSG, which ran an information session at the Kungala Hall in July and recruited volunteers to conduct the survey from there.
Alliance spokeswoman Seanine Cooper said the process leading up to Sunday's celebration had been challenging but "worth it".
"The process is on the way to quite a few other areas of the Clarence," she said. "It's a clear message to the mining companies ... once you get the whole community saying no, then you may as well go elsewhere."
"Once a person signs up to have gas on their property they've just reduced the value of their property and their neighbours' - that message is getting through."
Clarence Valley Councillor Sue Hughes is expected to attend the barbecue on Sunday that starts at 11am.
Mrs Morris provided a long list of all those who helped "lock the road".