Stop CSG Illawarra released the statement below on October 10.
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Stop CSG Illawarra — the community group that organised the 3000-plus person human sign action on Austinmer Beach in late May — is planning a community walk across the iconic Sea Cliff Bridge for October 16.
The walk is part of a national day of coordinated actions under the theme “Defend Our Water”, and is calling for a moratorium on the coal seam gas (CSG) industry, a Royal Commission into CSG and a ban on “fracking”.
Stop CSG Illawarra spokesperson, Jess Moore said: “In May, over 3000 members of our community joined together on Austinmer beach and helped introduce a temporary moratorium on fracking. Now we must stand together again and make it clear to the NSW government what they should do.
“Residents have organised this action because we’re concerned about the contamination of our drinking water and damage to aquifers, particularly given that seven of the local approvals are in Sydney Catchment Authority Special Areas.
“Coal seam gas mining always involves drawing contaminated water out of the coal seam that is high in salt and can contain toxic and radioactive compounds and heavy metals.
“It’s a fire hazard and explosion risk, as CSG is mainly methane and leaks are part and parcel of extraction, piping and processing.
“CSG mining risks a range of direct and indirect health impacts cancer and heart, kidney, lung and neurological problems.
“We’re calling on everyone concerned about CSG to join the Walk for Water. We need caution: an immediate stop on the industry until the full impacts are investigated and known.
“And we need a ban on fracking. Directly contaminating large quantities of fresh water and using it to fracture underground systems is unsafe, and ridiculous in a county prone to drought