Giant rally held in Illawarra against coal seam gas

October 18, 2011
3000 people marched across the Sea Cliff Bridge, Coalcliff, NSW, on October 16.
3000 people marched across the Sea Cliff Bridge, Coalcliff, NSW, on October 16. Photo: Stop-CSG-Illawarra/flickr

Stop CSG Illawarra released the statement below on October 16.

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More than 3000 people walked across the iconic Sea Cliff Bridge today in opposition to coal seam gas (CSG) mining. Simultaneously, abseilers lowered a banner from the escarpment that said: "This community has spoken. Stop CSG".

Lord Mayor Gordon Bradbery, and councillors George Takacs, Lee Colacino, Bede Crasnich, Vicki Curran, Jill Merrin and Greg Petty attended the walk.

The walk was part of a national day of coordinated actions under the theme “Defend Our Water”, and called for a moratorium on the CSG industry, a Royal Commission into CSG and a ban on “fracking”.

Stop CSG Illawarra spokesperson Jess Moore said: “Today was an enormous show of broad community opposition to coal seam gas mining; people from all walks of life, coming together, to protect our future.

"How dare the previous government approve wells without knowing the full impacts. And how dare the current government fail to listen to communities, and drinking water, food, air and environment.

"This community has made our position inescapably clear: stop CSG!

"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.

"Residents organised this action because we're concerned about the contamination of our drinking water and damage to aquifers, particularly given that all local approvals are in or around 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."

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