Nattai residents: ‘Our town is CSG free’

Stop CSG Sydney Water Catchment released the statement below on September 18.

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The residents of Nattai, a township that overlooks Lake Burragorang — the source of fresh drinking water for residents of the city of Sydney and the lower Blue Mountains — have overwhelmingly supported a declaration that Nattai and Sydney Water Catchment be CSG Mining Free.

The local community will be celebrating this event during the National Week of Action at Lake Burragorang Lookout in Nattai on Sunday October 14 from 11.00am to 1pm.

This initiative to declare Nattai CSG mining free has the full support of the local Wollondilly Shire Council. Stop CSG Water Catchment intends over the next months to expand this initiative to Oakdale, Warragamba, The Oaks and onwards to affirm Premier Barry O’Farrell’s pre-election promise: “The next Liberal/National government will ensure that mining cannot occur ... in any water catchment ... no ifs, no buts, a guarantee.” We are here to ensure that Barry O’Farrell keeps that promise.

We believe Nattai will be the first township declared a CSG mining free town in the Sydney Basin. There are people in Nattai who have been residents here for many decades, people who moved here from the Burragorang Valley when Warragamba Dam was built and the valley flooded.

These people, despite their connection with the valley over many generations, cannot now legally enter the water catchment area. Those with properties within the catchment area are restricted in the activities they are allowed to do. These regulations are there, rightly, to protect Sydney’s drinking water supply.

Yet, this government, despite these regulations, is considering allowing mining companies to enter the catchment and drill hundreds of coal seam gas wells. Why is the NSW government proposing to circumvent existing water protection regulations, potentially risking an environmental disaster?

Stop CSG Water Catchment spokesperson Will D’Arcy highlights that the CSG industry does not have a proven safe track record: “What has been proven is that this industry cannot be adequately regulated at the speed at which both the government and mining companies wish to roll it out. This industry has no place in water catchments, farming communities or residential areas.”

As it happens Nattai is missing its “Welcome to Nattai” sign. We intend to replace it with a “Welcome to Nattai — a coal seam gas mining free town’ sign.

[For more details visit: stopcsgsydneywatercatchment.org.au.]

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