More than 25 councils across NSW have now passed motions against coal seam gas (CSG) mining in their local government area. Some motions declare a moratorium on coal seam gas, others are focussed on security of water issues, others request NSW government for consultation and transparency on plans before mining is approved.
In May Richmond Valley Council joined the growing list of Northern Rivers councils to declare a moratorium on new coal seam gas projects after previously opposing it.
In the majority of councils putting motions it’s Greens councillors who have taken the initiatives, preparing and advocating for the motion. “I wanted to achieve bi-partisan support across the council on this key issue because ultimately it will affect us all if our water supply is polluted and our agricultural land destroyed,” says Pauline Tyrell, Greens Councillor at Canada Bay. “Even though my council is in the city we still eat the food from the Liverpool plains and enjoy the wine from the Hunter Valley, two of the areas under serious threat if coal seam gas mining goes ahead.”
Momentum from urban Sydney councils increased after last year’s NSW Local Government Association (LGA) annual general meeting passed its own motion against coal seam gas mining. This motion included rejecting suggestions by industry that coal seam gas development is appropriate in residential areas, and called on the government to rescind exploration licences over residential areas.
Lock the Gate says that a show of unity by councils across NSW will empower more communities to say no to CSG and also pack a political punch within NSW state government. There are many things Councils can do to legally delay mining in their LGAs and show the mining companies they do not have a social license. The movement against coal seam gas regularly uses term ‘people’s moratorium’.
Many communities within LGAs in northern NSW are now also declaring themselves CSG-Free with more than 20 communities now having declared themselves CSG-Free.
Visit www.lockthegate.org.au/local-councils for the list of NSW councils that have passed motions against coal seam gas.