The Northern Star 22 January 2013:
THE peak body for councils on the Northern Rivers will be asked to fund new research into the potential impacts the coal seam gas industry could have on creeks, groundwater and the atmosphere.
Rous Water has already supported a motion calling for the Northern Rivers Regional Organisation of Councils - NOROC - to fund the Southern Cross University research project.
Ballina Shire Council will debate the matter at Thursday's meeting.
A notice of motion by deputy mayor Sue Meehan (pictured) calls on NOROC to provide $30,000 a year for three years to match Australian Research Council funds.
The research would be done by Dr Isaac Santos from SCU, whose recent work with Dr Damien Maher found CSG mining could be responsible for the escape of significant quantities of methane into the atmosphere.
Cr Meehan said it was important to get some baseline data.
Local government watchers on the NSW North Coast should see fur fly when this is debated, as councillors and senior staff whom Metgasco has assiduously wooed come out for their ‘mining mate’ during meetings which discuss this issue.
Expect to see attempts to scuttle the creation of a genuinely independent study.