The North West of NSW celebrates as Burren Junction, Cryon and Merah North declare themselves Gasfield Free Communities.
The Junction City Hotel was the venue for last Friday evening’s Community Celebration proudly attended by a large number of local landowners and residents. People from further afield in both Shires also attended as they believe this invasive industry must be halted until it can be independently proven to be safe.
Declarations for each of the CSG Free Roads in the Narrabri Shire stating, “This road is gasfield free. Protected by the will of the community” were presented by a resident from each road to Narrabri Councillor Bevan O’Regan, and his attendance was appreciated by the community. The Walgett declarations will be presented to Walgett Council at a later date.
Jeff Carolan said, “The people of the broader Burren Junction community, which covers more than 400,000 hectares of land in the Walgett and Narrabri Shires, have overwhelmingly rejected any plan or proposal to mine, drill or frack for coal seam gas in their area.”
Jeff Carolan went on to say “The Burren Junction community request and demand their elected representatives, Local, State and Federal, to heed the result of this survey as it sends a clear and decisive message, from the concerned people of this district.”
He added “The Burren Junction community stands united and motivated to protect their sustainable land-use and water resources from invasive industrial gasfields for current and future generations. We will no longer be ignored or dismissed.”
Sonya Marshall acknowledged, “What a fantastic feeling within our community as a result of this survey process. Knowing 98.9% support being Gasfield Free confirms we are a united farming community and reaffirms our determination to support each other. This process to protect our water, land, health and business can't be accomplished by a few people. It requires the whole community to stand together and fight, which they have proudly done.”
Sonya Marshall went on to say “It also requires all levels of Government to ignore the spin of the CSG industry and learn from the facts. It is a dangerous industry that has proven in many areas of the world that it does damage water resources and health.”
“Our decision makers must stop ignoring this evidence which is as close as Queensland. This needs to become a Federal issue as what they do in Queensland will affect the Great Artesian Basin. It is our GAB recharge area they are experimenting with in the Pilliga." Sonya Marshall said.
Megan Kuhn, North West Regional Gasfield Free Co-ordinator said, “This Gasfield Free survey area joins many other areas in the North West region undertaking the community survey and is a wonderful expression that communities are also becoming united beyond their immediate area.” “It clearly shows Santos do not have a social licence to operate in this region.”
“It is obviously critical that we need to respond to the invasion of our region now, as Santos have not been truthful about their long term plans for this region. This community have displayed, via their results, that they are concerned about the long term consequence of allowing invasive industrialised gasfields to proceed and that Santos are clearly not welcome here’.” Megan Kuhn said.
Results: The Burren Junction community responded overwhelmingly in favour of declaring their area Gasfield Free, with 99% in favour and the other 1% unsure. Not a single person said no to the question “Do you want your road/land Gasfield Free.”
Merah North area returned a very similar result. 97.9% Yes, 2.1% Unsure and again 0% said no.
The result of 100% Yes in the Cryon community to the question is excitingly the first community in the North West to record that unanimous response.
Local residents left the celebration focused and positive, with their ‘Gasfield Free, Protected by Community” road signs which will now be erected on each of the roads surveyed.