Marrickville Council votes to ban coal seam gas from St Peters

Rally against coal seam gas mining, Sydney, May 1. Photo: Peter Boyle

Stop CSG Sydney released the statement below on May 9.

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Marrickville councillors backed residents campaigning against coal seam gas (CSG) in the inner city on May 8 when they voted unanimously to support a new condition on agreeing to the development application of a waste recycling business — to prohibit CSG mining.

See also:
St Peters CSG mines would affect entire area, says activist
Marrickville resident urges council to block CSG

Residents of St Peters and surrounding suburbs have been actively fighting against the CSG industry since November 2010 when they found out that the NSW government and a local landholder had signed off on an agreement to drill a CSG well in St Peters.

The well site is located in the Dial-a-Dump site in St Peters. The CSG well was not mentioned in the application to renew the business licence.

Stop CSG Sydney president Jacinta Green said: “We were appalled when the DA had been lodged with no reference to the agreement with Dart Energy about the CSG well.

“Not only has Dart Energy been definite in its plans to drill at St Peters, it was also 95% certain that the well would end up as a production well.

“Marrickville Council voted to support the development application, but made the approval conditional on prohibiting coal seam gas mining going ahead at the site.”

Local resident and member of Stop CSG Sydney Pip Hinman said: “We are heartened by this unanimous decision. It is the second time that Marrickville councillors have spoken out against coal seam gas and it shows that the concerns over the health and environmental impacts of coal seam gas mining are non-partisan and widespread.

“We are also very pleased that Marrickville Council will write to the NSW government requesting it do not renew Dart's licence to sink an exploratory well in St Peters.”

Louise Steer, the public officer of Stop CSG Sydney and local resident explained: “Marrickville Local Environment Plan 2011, which is legislated (not a policy or guideline) prohibits, in 'general industrial' and 'light industrial' zones, 'extractive industries', 'offensive industries' and 'open cut mining'.

“While coal seam gas is not mentioned, it falls within the categories of 'extractive industries' and 'offensive industries'.

“The reference to 'open cut mining' clearly shows the council acknowledges that mining is inappropriate use of industrial zones in Marrickville.

“The council unanimously agreed to place a condition on Alexandria Landfill’s development application to the effect that coal seam gas mining was prohibited at the site.

“This effectively ends plans to conduct coal seam gas drilling or production in St Peters.”