Mayor unites CSG-free communities
TWEED mayor Barry Longland made a stand along with residents from the Upper Tweed Valley communities of Doon Doon, Mt Burrell and Kunghur on Sunday when they declared themselves CSG-free.
"We have been strenghtened by solidarity," Cr Longland said to the 100-strong crowd at Mount Burrell.
Declarations of roads in the area as CSG-free were presented to Cr Longland who in turn gave residents Lock the Gate signs to place on their respective roads.
"Over 96% of residents surveyed in the Upper Tweed Valley want their community to be CSG-free," Michael McNamara from Lock the Gate Tweed said, in announcing the result from the area.
He said the growing community calls for the Tweed Shire to be CSG-free were putting pressure on candidates in the Tweed Shire council elections to declare their hands.
"It is time for council candidates to let the community know what they will do, if elected, to reflect these strong community views," he said.
"There are strong, positive actions that councils can take to protect the community from the threat of CSG exploration and production.
"Residents from the communities of Tyalgum, Crystal Creek, Doon Doon, Mt Burrell, Kunghur and surrounding areas have already declared themselves CSG-free."
When Burringbar, Uki, Chillingham and Stokers Siding hold their community celebrations over the next few weekends we will have communities covering well over 50% of the land area of Tweed Shire involved.
"The CSG-free Communities initiative has given communities an opportunity denied to them by the government and the CSG companies to actually have a say.
"Groups of volunteers from each road have surveyed their neighbours about whether they want their community to be CSG-free.
"They have made a statement that has strong moral authority about the direction of development in their community.
"These declarations of communities as CSG-free are backed up by hard data, which gives them extra strength as the legitimate voice of the community.
"I call on all candidates in the local government election to commit to strong positive action by Tweed Shire Council to reflect the strong community view by declaring Tweed off limits to CSG operations and then taking steps to back up that declaration.
"The CSG-free Communities initiative is spreading like wildfire across the Northern Rivers because it engages local residents and gives them a voice in determining the future of their community.
"It is a very empowering process for both communities and individuals."
Anyone interested in implementing the CSG-free Communities initiative in their local area can contact Mr McNamara on 6679 3013 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org to organise a community meeting.