Three mayors to visit Glenugie to support constituents
UPDATED 9am: THREE Northern Rivers' mayors will visit the coal-face of the national CSG debate today that has seen dozens of their constituents arrested in the past fortnight.
Byron Shire mayor Simon Richardson, Tweed Shire mayor Barry Longland and Lismore City mayor Jenny Dowell will travel to the Glenugie CSG blockade south of Grafton tomorrow to show their support to protesters and see the site for themselves. They plan to arrive at 10am and stay until late afternoon.
Cr Richardson said he would speak to the campaigners who are "putting their bodies on the line" so that the residents of the Northern Rivers could "continue to have clean water, sustainable agriculture and a vibrant tourism industry".
"With the spectre of CSG on the horizon, these three vital economic, social and environmental attributes within our region are threatened. To the campaigners, I say your actions are appreciated and honoured by the residents of Byron Shire and we thank you," he said.
Cr Dowell said other Northern Rivers' mayors had been contacted but she believed they were still away on holidays.
"Simon suggested the visit late last week because we're not only concerned about coal seam gas, but we're also concerned about the wellbeing of the protesters, she said.
"We'd just like to be able to give them a bit of moral support and encourage them in their non-violent direct action.
"Good People from all walks of life are putting their lives on hold and taking a stand against CSG. The only way we will protect our communities from this incompatible industry is by standing strongly united until mining companies realise they are not welcome here.
"I suggested asking the other NOROC mayors, and also to let (Clarence Valley mayor) Richie (Williamson) know as a courtesy as it's on his patch, though I understand he is on holidays."
Tweed Shire mayor Barry Longland said he wanted to add his support to the stand taken by "those concerned citizens of the Northern Rivers who have placed themselves at the front line in united stand opposition to CSG mining in our region".
"Our communities have expressed overwhelming opposition to any expansion of these activities and they are supported by their elected representatives who, in the case of the Tweed Shire, have adopted a 'CSG free' declaration for the whole Shire," he said.