"Do you support coal seam gas (CSG) exploration and production in the Lismore City Council area?" That is the question that will be put to every voter in the Lismore Local Government Area (LGA) at the council election in September.
Some people have said it's a waste of time and money because we already know the answer, but I think it is an important tool to get very precise information about the level of support (or lack thereof) for the industry.
Council confirmed the cost of conducting the poll would be about $16,000 (not $42,000 as had previously been claimed - Cr Peter Graham admitted he had "made up" that figure to put people off).
The idea of the poll, along with the CSG-free road declarations and prominent display of Lock the Gate signs, is to show mining companies there is no 'social licence' for their activities in the region.
Last weekend Dunoon joined the growing number of communities to declare themselves 'gasfield free' and Rock Valley will do so on Saturday (see story page 3).
This week we also have an opinion piece from SCU law lecturer Aidan Ricketts about the social and political ramifications of the Lock the Gate movement (see On Your High Horse, page 30).
A decision to rein in the The Echo's distribution to the Lismore LGA only has been met with some resitance from our readers in outlying areas. A compromise has been reached by providing limited Echos in those surrounding areas at a cost of 50 cents.
Copies will be available at: Wollongbar News, Alstonville News, Kyogle News, Wadeville Store, Cawongla Store, Wiangaree Store, The Lunatic Hotel (Drake), Higgins News (Casino), South Casino News, Casino West News, Coraki News and Evans Head News.
We hope our readers in those areas think we're worth 50 cents and will continue to pick us up.