About 200 people packed Petersham Town Hall in Sydney's inner west on July 25 for a night of trivia and fundraising organised by Stop Coal Seam Gas Sydney.
The group, which has campaigned for 20 months against exploratory CSG drilling planned for St Peters, had a recent victory when Dart Energy said it would not go ahead with drilling in the suburb.
But Stop CSG Sydney is remaining vigilant, as the licence for exploration — which applies to the entire Sydney basin — has not been cancelled. The group also made clear that it will not be satisfied in simply preventing drilling in the inner west, and opposes any CSG mining across Sydney, as well as in water catchments and agricultural areas where CSG drilling would affect Sydney and beyond.
The breadth of support for the campaign was evident in the large and diverse crowd, and also in more than 20 local businesses that donated food, drinks and prizes to the night.
Alongside the trivia, attendees enjoyed video footage from Stop CSG events, performance poetry, and a mock attendance by fictional character “Bob Pounder” of “Needle Energy” (performed by actor Matt Zeremes), who was howled down when he defended the CSG industry, lauded his “mates” Gina Rinehart and Clive Palmer, and said that if the food bowl is destroyed people could always turn to Monsanto.
Through a combination of ticket sales, raffles, food, drink and a silent auction, the group raised about $5000 for the campaign. Stop CSG Sydney's next big events are a film screening of Bimblebox on August 26, and a huge human sign against CSG on October 13.