Topics:  barry longland, coal seam gas, community, mining industry, protest, tyalgum

Mayor supports CSG-free Tyalgum

About 130 people joined the rally against coal-seam gas mining at Tyalgum on Saturday.
About 130 people joined the rally against coal-seam gas mining at Tyalgum on Saturday. Annie Kia

ABOUT 130 people took to the streets at Tyalgum on Saturday to declare the town a coal-seam gas free zone.

"The community of Tyalgum has stated firmly and resoundingly that it opposes coal-seam gas exploration and production in the local area," spokesman Michael McNamara said.

Residents and landowners gathered for a street parade and community celebration when they presented declarations from 32 roads in the area to Tweed mayor Barry Longland.

In return Cr Longland presented a representative from each road with a "Gasfield Free" road sign to be displayed on the road.

"I was impressed with the numbers who came out on the day," he said.

"But also by the cross section of the community represented.

"We (the council) don't know enough about coal-seam gas mining and its impact.

"Until we do, we won't have it.

"It gives me great confidence that the stance taken by the council is in accordance with that of the broader community."

The celebration was the culmination of a process that started in May with a community meeting.

Groups of residents then conducted surveys along each road in the area to give residents and landowners the opportunity to have a say about whether they wanted coal-seam gas exploration on their road.

"The response has been overwhelming with over 98% of residents and landowners in the Tyalgum area have said they want their roads and community to be CSG-free," Mr McNamara said.

"Tyalgum is the first community in the Tweed to implement the CSG-free Communities initiative and others are already in the process."

The community celebration included the planting of a Coolamon tree, the floral emblem of the Tweed, to commemorate the day.

"The CSG-free Communities initiative is spreading like wildfire across the Northern Rivers because it engages local residents and gives them a voice, in determining the future of their community," Mr McNamara said.

"It is a very empowering process for both communities and individuals."

Cr Longland said he had the declarations in a basket in his office and looked forward to seeing the pile get bigger as more towns become involved.

"When people visit they will be in no doubt as to where the council stands on this issue," he said.

Community meetings are scheduled for other areas across the Tweed shire.

Meetings are being held this week at Cabarita Beach/Bogangar tonight at the Cabarita Sports Club, Bilambil on Tuesday at the Bilambil Sports Club, Kingscliff on Wednesday at Cudgen leagues Club and Pottsville on Thursday at the Pottsville Community Hall.

All meetings start at 7pm.

Over coming weeks meetings are scheduled for Banora Point, Chillingham, Uki and Burringbar/Mooball/Crabbes Creek.

"I invite anyone interested in organising or participating in the CSG-free Communities initiative in their community to contact me on 6679 3013 or by email at lockthegate.tweed@gmail.com."



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