Stop coal seam gas campaigners win awards

Jess Moore.

The NSW Nature Conservation Council held it's annual Environment Awards on October 29. The awards celebrate and acknowledge the inspiring contributions made by environmental groups and individuals over the past year.

Jess Moore won the “Rising Star” award for being the “most outstanding campaigner under the age of 30”. Moore is a key organiser in campaigns to stop coal seam gas mining in NSW and for the roll out of renewable energy. She's a leading figure in groups such as Stop CSG Illawarra, the Wollongong Climate Action Network and Socialist Alliance.

On receiving the award, Moore said: “Thank you, I’m very grateful for this award. But as any environmental campaigner would know, anything I’ve ever done that's worthwhile has been done as part of a team. Stop CSG Illawarra is the most amazing team of people I've ever worked with.”

Stop CSG Illawarra took out the Maria Byles award for the “most outstanding new environmental campaign”. The group only formed in March 2011 and has already made an impressive contribution to the campaign to halt coal seam gas mining.

Averaging more than 100 people at its monthly organising meetings, Stop CSG Illawarra has organised two events this year that have each been attended by more than 3000 people. On May 29, the group organised a human sign that spelt out “Stop Coal Seam Gas” at Austinmer beach. On October 16, it held a “Bridge Walk to Stop CSG” in Coalcliff.

The prize for the Maria Byles award was $1000 worth of printing services, which Stop CSG Illawarra has promised to put to good use.

Moore told Green Left Weekly: “In the face of risks coal seam gas poses to our drinking water, health and the environment, it’s great to recognise what an amazing and powerful campaign the community has built.”

Beyond Zero Emissions won the “Community Climate Action Award” for the “most inspiring climate action initiative by a community climate change group”. Chris Jonkers from the Rivers SOS Network won the “Dunphy Award” for the “most outstanding environmental effort of an individual”.