Stop CSG rally hands 20,000 petitions to NSW parliament

November 22, 2011
Photo: Kate Ausburn

Two hundred people rallied outside NSW parliament on November 23 and handed over 20,000 petitions that call for a moratorium on coal seam gas (CSG) mining, a royal commission into the industry's impacts on communities and the environment and a ban on fracking.

Coalition Premier Barry O'Farrell promised before the last election that his government would convoke a parliamentary debate on any issue upon receiving at least 10,000 petitions.

Stop CSG Sydney's Paul Benedek chaired the rally, which heard from Stop CSG Sydney's Isabel McIntosh, Lock the Gate Alliance's Drew Hutton and Stop CSG Illawarra's Jess Moore.

Outside parliament, the rally called for O'Farrell to meet protesters and accept the petition. The crowd was angered to hear that O'Farrell would not accept the petitions in person as organisers had contacted his office weeks beforehand.

In his place, O'Farrell sent Liberal MP Gareth Ward to accept the petitions. Greens MP Jamie Parker and Labor opposition leader John Robertson came outside to join the rally. Robertson congratulated the protesters and said NSW Labor had changed its policy and now supported a moratorium on CSG.

Parker pledged that the Greens would continue to campaign against CSG inside and outside of parliament.

Photos by Peter Boyle


Ryan Park, Labor MLA for Keira (just north of Wollongong), also came out to show support for the rally. Ryan has worked closely with the Stop CSG Illawarra campaign, and pushed hard for his party to change their position on CSG. Under pressure from the campaign, Labor now supports a moratorium on all exploration CSG projects in NSW.

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