Over 88 per cent of voters in the Lismore Council area have voted against having coal seam gas in an overwhelming rejection of the industry.
Voters were asked to respond to the question: “Do you support coal seam gas (CSG) exploration and production in the Lismore City Council area?” The response, after more than 15,000 votes were counted, was 11.93% in favour and 88.07% against.
Arrow and Metgasco are two of the main coal seam gas companies attempting to carry out activities in the Northern Rivers.
“This poll reflects the resounding results from surveys of 30 local communities in the area which have declared themselves CSG free and are preparing to defend their communities from CSG,” said Lock the Gate President Drew Hutton.
Hutton said he believed these figures were undoubtedly higher in the Northern Rivers than in other regions of New South Wales, but that similar referendums would still reveal substantial majorities against the coal seam gas industry. This is in spite of the massive advertising campaigns the industry has taken out over the past few months.
“There is a mounting disquiet in the community about this industry and a conviction among many that the industry has gone nowhere near showing that it can carry out its exploration and production activities safely,” he said.
“I congratulate those wonderful people involved in the Northern Rivers CSG Free Communities campaign whose great work has helped create this result.
“The O’Farrell government must acknowledge the depth of this sentiment and implement Strategic Regional Land Use Plans that separate high-impact mining activities from sensitive areas like the Northern Rivers.”