Northern Rivers communities are celebrating the news today that Metgasco have indefinitely suspended all their coal seam gas operations in the Northern Rivers. The Lock the Gate Alliance says that this is a huge vindication of the efforts of thousands of people across the region to protect their land, water and communities from the threat of CSG.
“Whilst the company may blame regulatory uncertainty for their decision, the fact is that their operations have faced massive opposition from communities across the region,” said Boudicca Cerese, spokesperson for Lock the Gate Northern Rivers.
“In the past two years we have seen the growth of an unprecedented social movement made up of people from across the political spectrum who are totally opposed to the industrialisation of our beautiful region for coal seam gas mining.”
“We have seen all sorts of innovative and creative actions from community members ranging from the development of the grass roots gas field free community surveys to the formation of community action groups like the wonderful Knitting Nannas Against Gas.”
“We have witnessed the largest ever rally in the region with 7,000 people on the streets of Lismore last May marching against coal seam gas.”
“We have been inspired by the courageous efforts of local communities and their supporters at Glenugie and Doubtful Creek who have survived floods and wild weather whilst continuously blockading Metgasco’s drilling operations for almost four months.”
“People from all walks of life have come together as never before- farmers, townspeople, Aboriginal traditional owners, tree changers, you name it- working collaboratively in the face of our government’s failure to protect what we all hold dear- our natural places, food growing land and precious water supplies,” she said.
“Metgasco may claim that they have just suspended their operations till the regulatory environment is secure but in reality, they, or any other CSG company, will never be able to operate in our region,” said Ian Gaillard, Lock the Gate Regional Co-ordinator.
“Our surveys show the community opposition to coal seam gas is over 95%, these companies have no social license in the Northern Rivers and they will never, ever get one.”
“If Metgasco or others try to return to our region they will be faced with the same opposition they have met over the last year.”
“The people of the Northern Rivers have shown that coal seam gas companies simply cannot operate in the face of empowered and resolute community opposition,” he said.