Thousands take action against coal seam gas in Illawarra

May 30, 2011
Stop coal seam gas human sign on Austinmer Beach
Austinmer Beach, Illawarra, May 29. Photo from

More than 3000 people turned out to Austinmer Beach in the Illawarra on May 29 to form the "STOP COAL SEAM GAS!" human sign.

Three helicopters, each from a major media outlet, circled above the cheering and waving crowd to film the historic event.

Check out all the pictures and media coverage by visiting Stop CSG Illawarra's website.

A big team of more than 40 volunteers from Stop CSG Illawarra helped make the day such a success.

There were people marking out the letters and walkways from 6.30am, marshals (for letters, words, walkways, counting and more!), stall staffers, BBQ organisers, photographers (in the chopper, on the ground, on the headland!), media spokespeople, donations collectors, video documenters, internet uploaders and designers, entertainers and more.

So many people have congratulated the "superb" organisation of the event -- this is all thanks to the wonderful team of volunteers.

The news footage is simply incredible. Check out WIN TV's coverage below , Seven's here and the ABC's here.

The action was the front page feature of the May 30 Illawarra Mercury.

Photos have now been sent around the world via AAP.

Check out pictures from the ground here and here. For some YouTube footage of the marshaling into letters..

After the photographs were taken, people enjoyed a mini-festival of BBQs, community stalls and entertainment. There was a real sense of community among the people present. Thousands of dollars was raised from Tshirt sales and donations to assist the ongoing campaign.

About 2000 signatures were gathered on the day for the petition calling for a moratorium on CSG until the outcome of a Royal Commission, and a ban on fracking.

The crowd included a couple of politicians, Greens MLC Jeremy Buckingham and ALP MLA for Keira, Ryan Park; and celebrities Costa from SBS and actor David Field.

A crew of people in Byron Bay were so inspired by our idea they organised their own "No CSG" human sign with 3000 people!

After the Austinmer event, Stop CSG Illawarra spokesperson Jess Moore said: "The Government forgot to ask this community what we think of coal seam gas. Today we told them in no uncertain terms.

"This community is standing together to ensure safe drinking water and food, the environment and our health. And we will not stop until we win. We have to. There's too much at stake."

Moore will be speaking on behalf of Stop CSG Illawarra at Politics in the Pub in Sydney on June 3. The next monthly meeting of SCSGI will take place on June 19, 11am (venue TBA because we can't find a space big enough! Keep an eye on the website.)

A Stop CSG benefit gig is planned for Friday July 1, 6pm @ Austinmer's Headlands Hotel. For more info on the gig, ph Enya on 0422 466 560.

Win News report on the anti-coal seam gas action in Illawarra, featuring interviews with Stop CSG Illawara members Jess Moore and Chris Williams.


Ide like to say that it was a very uplifting day to see so many Environmental Defenders in the one place at the same time! Shows that theres still spirit in the Australian People! When the chips are low thats when we all pull together! Water is Vital for the Existance of everything and needs to be used mindfully! We all have to Share it! How can anyone dare to take Chances with something so Precious! Luv, Peace and Hopefully, Sustainability for us ALL! Trishwildfire
Good work, all of the people invovled. It looks great and it sends an important message. Here's to an end to all fossil fuel exploitation!

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