Media Release from Lock the Gate Walgett
MEDIA RELEASE: Last Thursday 15 December 2011, approximately fifty people attended the ‘What Is In Our Water’ Forum at the Walgett RSL Memorial Hall. This meeting was organised by Lock The Gate Walgett, a group of concerned community members who wish to raise awareness about the risks and dangers associated with coal seam gas mining in NSW.
Attendees of this meeting included local business owners, medical practitioners, police officials, members from the Walgett Shire Council, NSW Farmers Association, the Walgett Catchment Management Authority and the Dharriwaa Elders Group.
The meeting heard personal statements from Federal ministers including Robert Oakeshott MP, Mark Coulton MP and local State MP Kevin Humphries. After a series of speeches and discussions from local farmers, residents of the Pilliga and guests from the University of NSW, the members of Lock The Gate Walgett decided to pass the following motion:
We demand the NSW government place a moratorium on all current and future exploration and production licences for coal seam gas activities across NSW until the following demands are met:
• A full and comprehensive water study of the Pilliga region, including the Namoi River and the relevant sections of the Great Artesian Basin.
• Clear information is disclosed to the public concerning the chemicals used and produced (including BTEX, and the discharge created) during coal seam gas activities and processes.
• All mining companies be held accountable for their activities throughout the Pilliga, including any damage to the Namoi River and the Great Artesian Basin and ensure that these areas are not subjected to further environmental damage.
• The health and environmental quality of the Pilliga water ways are restored to a pre-coal seam gas mining state.
Lock The Gate Alliance Vice President Jacinta Green stated that: “Groups like Lock The Gate Walgett are part of a growing alliance of over 100 community groups now raising awareness about coal seam gas mining around Australia.”
Spokesperson for Lock the Gate Walgett Daniel Robins told last night’s meeting that “Protecting Australia’s water systems such as the Murray Darling and the Great Artesian Basin is one of the most important issues in Australia today. Unfortunately, both State and Federal Governments are resisting the calls of our communities to take action now to ensure the protection of Australia’s water into the future.”
For more information call: Daniel Robins – Lock The Gate Walgett – Phone: 0406049871