WHAT wonderful news to hear that Metgasco has suspended their work here in the Northern Rivers.
Everyone who has been involved in this huge fight is to be congratulated, but our fight is far from over.
The Northern Rivers still needs to be declared unconventional gas free, on the same basis as the Hunter region was. Our local farmers deserve the same respect as the Hunter's wineries and horses. Surely this is not asking too much to ensure the safety and viability of our farmers, as well as the safety of our land, water and air now and in the future.
So what happens here in the Richmond Valley now Metgasco has left this region? There are many holding ponds still here, along with wells that are still leaking and causing people living near them untold damage that may not be evident for years to come. But the short-term evidence is very real and most concerning for these people.
Who is responsible and who cares for these people and their land and water?
Just take a look at the Pilliga region of NSW, poisoned by Santos, and the Condamine River in Queensland, still bubbling with methane.
Nobody wins when these companies take all they want from our land and then leave behind this sort of devastation. People who have had to live in areas where this toxic industry exists are now sick. Cancers and other diseases could increase amid long-term exposure to the chemicals and various other substances continuing to be released into our land, waterways and air.
So yes, we celebrate, but the fight continues until our region is safe from any future return of Metgasco or any other company that may be thinking of taking their place and destroying everything we love and enjoy here in the Northern Rivers.
Jill Lyons, Casino
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