Blue Mountains residents protest CSG exploration

Many residents of the Blue Mountains are discovering for the first time that coal seam gas (CSG) drilling is an immediate, local issue for them. Gas giant AGL has a licence to explore for CSG in a huge area covering the Blue Mountains communities from Lapstone, Glenbrook, Blaxland, Warrimoo and Winmalee through to Springwood, and everything in between.

The newly formed campaign group Stop CSG Blue Mountains joined the national week of action against CSG, organising a residents’ rally in Glenbrook Park on October 13.

Two hundred and fifty people from around the Mountains joined the action, signed petitions, took away “No CSG – Lock the gate” signs to put up in their streets and listened to speakers explain that neither the national parks nor World Heritage status of the Blue Mountains will exempt the area from CSG exploration and drilling under the Liberal state government’s new legislation.

Speakers included NSW Greens MLC Jeremy Buckingham, Stop CSG Illawarra’s Jess Moore, Brian Marshall from the Blue Mountains Conservation Society and Suzie Wright from the Western Sydney Conservation Alliance.

Newly-elected Greens councillor Geordie Williamson read out a motion he plans to put to Blue Mountains City Council opposing CSG exploration and drilling in the council area. In response to his challenge to other councillors present to endorse the motion, ALP councillor Mark Greenhill pledged the five Labor councillors’ support.

[The next Stop CSG Blue Mountains planning meeting is at 7.30pm at the RSL Club, Lurline Street, Katoomba. Photos from the rally and more information about the Blue Mountains campaign is available at http://www.stopcsgbm.net.au, or by emailing info@stopcsgbm.net.au.]