Councillor Margaret McKenna has put a Motion on Notice to Clarence Valley Council calling for a moratorium on Coal Seam Gas (CSG) mining in the Clarence Valley Local Government Area (LGA). This motion will be discussed at the meeting of Council’s Environment, Economic & Community which meets at 4 p.m. on Tuesday 12 July in Grafton.
If Council passes the motion it will be joining other Councils to the north of the Clarence Valley LGA in calling for a moratorium. The only other Northern Rivers council in the Clarence Morton Basin which has not called for such a moratorium is Richmond River Shire Council.
The NSW State Government announced in May that there would be a 60 day moratorium on the granting of CSG exploration licences in NSW. This does not address the problems associated with existing licences – which is the reason for the motion below.
Cr Mc Kenna’s proposed motion is:
1. Write to the New South Wales Government - Barry O’Farrell Premier, Mr Chris Hartcher Minister for Resources and Energy and Mr Steve Cansdell, Member for Clarence, to request the NSW government to implement a moratorium on coal seam gas mining in Clarence Valley Council LGA and address the following concerns to the satisfaction of the community prior to lifting of a moratorium:
• Protection of ground and surface water from pollution and environmental disturbance;
• Community health and safety;
• Ensuring no loss of biodiversity;
• Respect for landowner rights; and
• Avoiding economic impacts on agriculture and tourism.
2. Call upon the Minster for Resources and Energy to facilitate the provision of independent information on the mining process, its impacts on communities and its potential benefits.
3. Write to Prime Minister Julia Gillard , Tony Burke Minister for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities, Janelle Saffin Member for Page, Luke Hartsuyker Member for Cowper, Leader of the opposition Tony Abbott and Greg Hunt Shadow Minister for Climate Action, Environment and Heritage, to raise the issue on a Federal level.
The proposed motion (14.005/11) and its background information can be viewed on Council’s website Clarence Valley Council EE&C Committee Business Paper 12 July 2011