Tuesday, 19 July 2011


At its July meeting Clarence Valley Council called for the NSW Government to implement a moratorium on coal seam gas (CSG) mining in the Clarence Valley Council Local Government Area “until extensive and independent environmental impact statements have been concluded on the effects on the environment.”

The impacts of CSG mining which were identified as matters of concern in Council’s resolution were:
  • Protection of ground and surface water from pollution and environmental disturbance
  • Community health and safety
  • Ensuring no loss of biodiversity
  • Respect for landowner rights
  • Avoiding economic impacts on agriculture and tourism

In addition to lobbying the State Government, Council will lobby both the Federal Government and the Federal Opposition to raise the issue on a federal level.

The resolution, which was drafted by Councillor Margaret McKenna, who attended the Environmental Defenders Office Seminar on CSG Mining in Grafton in May, was supported by all nine Clarence Valley Councillors.

Other NSW North Coast Councils have also called for a moratorium.  The only Council to the north of the Clarence which has not called for a moratorium on CSG mining is Richmond Valley Council.

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

EARTH MATTERS, Monday 18th July

Flying-Fox Ecology and Management
Presented by Billie Roberts, PhD student Griffith University
Flying-foxes are large bats that routinely move large distances in response to the changing availability of fruit and nectar. They are important pollinators and seed dispersers for many plants within rainforests, eucalypt forests, woodlands and wetlands. Roosting during the day in large communal camps, the number of animals in these camps can fluctuate widely at different times of the year and from one year to the next, reflecting nearby food resources.

In Maclean and many other areas, there is a history of conflict between humans and flying-foxes. Conflict arises when flying-foxes establish new camps close to residential areas or when people construct houses or public buildings too close to existing camp sites. In these areas, it is often proposed that camps be relocated elsewhere, despite such attempts being costly and rarely successful. In cases where animals do relocate, the new sites they select are often positioned in unanticipated and undesirable locations.

It is clear that these conflicts are likely to be ongoing, requiring broadly acceptable management solutions. Billie is currently a PhD candidate at Griffith University studying landscape use by Grey-headed Flying-foxes. Over the past five years she has assisted land managers in developing management plans for a number of controversial flying-fox camps in New South Wales and South East Queensland.  

 The presentation will be held in the Staffroom at Grafton Public School,
Queen Street, Grafton  from
5.30 – 7 p.m.

Sunday, 10 July 2011

Coal Seam Gas Motion Goes Before Clarence Valley Council

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:

That Council

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