Sunday, 16 February 2014

What did we get? Nothing. Not a zack

Letter to the Editor in The Northern Star on 7 February 2014 at Page 5:

CSG verdict stinks
The NSW Government's announcement of CSG exclusion and buffer zones is a bitter disappointment.
While noting that we did not support CSG mining in any part of the shire, Ballina Council made a very reasonable request that the villages of Newrybar and Tintenbar be included in Residential Area Buffer Zones and that land categorised as 'Regionally Significant Farmland' in current planning documents be excluded from CSG mining.
What did we get? Nothing. Not a zack.
It doesn't seem to matter that the villages are part of the catchment for our town water supply or that rural industries that rely on clean, uncontaminated water are the backbone of our local economy.
The government says that CSG development in these areas will be subject to the "gateway process", not mentioning that they've propped the gate open.
It seems that nothing must stand in the way of the fossil-fuel industries and their desire to rip as much as possible out of the ground, as quickly as possible. They've spent millions on ads, think-tanks and election-campaign funding to convince us this folly is in our own best interest. Small change when there's billions to be made.
Where are our parliamentary representatives shouting from the rooftops, "not here, not my community"? No, they are mute. Meek at best, complicit by their silence.
The clear message is that it is now up to us to defend our communities. The State Government has left no effective alternative.
Cr Keith Williams
Ballina Shire Council

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