South Gippsland declared ‘CSG Free’

February 4, 2013

Residents of the south Gippsland town of Poowong are preparing to hold a public protest against coal seam gas (CSG) exploration in their area on February 17.

Local group CSG Free Poowong conducted an extensive survey of the area last year. They asked: “Do you want to declare Poowong coal and coal seam gas free?”

The survey results showed over 95% of the community does not want CSG mining in their region.

The event on February 17 is being organised as a celebration of this result.

Attendees will form a human sign 50 metres in length across the local football oval. New road signs declaring the region CSG free will also be unveiled at the event.

CSG Free Poowong member and event organiser Ursula Alquier said: “Poowong locals are sending a strong message that there has been no social licence given here for coal seam gas extraction.

“This is because we want to protect our local environment, our high yield dairy industry, our way of life and most importantly our clean uncontaminated water.

“There is no room here for the CSG industry, we place a much greater value on our food and water security than supporting the expansion of the gas export market.”

South Gippsland Shire Mayor Kieran Kennedy and Drew Hutton from the Lock the Gate Alliance will address the gathering.

Lock the Gate Gippsland and other local groups such as the landcare group and the football club are supporting the event.

“Everyone has chipped in to do their bit on the day, from the local footy club who are donating their oval to us, to the farmer down the road who has leant us his tray truck to use as a stage.” Said Alquier.

[The event is to be held on February 17 at 11:30am at the Poowong football ground.]

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