Thumbs down to CSG industry
IF coal seam gas companies were sensible they would take their business elsewhere, Lismore Mayor Jenny Dowell said yesterday following Saturday's poll which showed the council area's residents overwhelmingly oppose the industry.
The latest count in Saturday's poll, which asked Lismore residents if they support coal seam gas exploration and production, showed an almost 87% "no" vote.
According to the ABC, the figure was based on 83% of the vote having been counted.
As a result, Cr Dowell said she expected the incoming council would reject any applications it received from the industry.
She also said it would be up to the industry to choose whether or not to instigate a legal challenge to those decisions.
"(The coal seam gas industry) has heard loud and clear from our community we don't want them here and I don't think it is worth the public relations battle and the negativity for them to come to Lismore," Cr Dowell told The Northern Star yesterday.
Coal seam gas company Metgasco maintained yesterday the process adopted for the poll was flawed because they claim the "no" case was based on misinformation.
"That is rubbish," Cr Dowell said in response. "The community have spoken, the question was very clear and (the industry's) alternative question was ridiculously biased."
State Lismore MP Thomas George said he was not surprised by the poll result and that he had raised community concern regarding the industry with his government colleagues.
"My major concern all the way through was to protect our land and water," he said.
However, he said it was unrealistic to suggest the industry could be stopped.
"A big part of the opposition in my electorate don't want coal seam gas mining anywhere," he said. "Well, you tell me how you stop it."
Question No. 1 (Status: Continuing)
Do you support coal seam gas (CSG) exploration and production in the Lismore City Council area?
Yes 3,114 13.13%
No 20,601 86.87%
Total Formal Votes Counted 23,715
Informal Votes 684
Total Ordinary Votes 24,399