Newspaper article The Northern Star (Lismore, Australia)

At Coal Seam Gas Plans; Journalist Scott Harlum Used Twitter to Provide Live Updates on the Meeting to Northern Star Twitter Followers and Readers. Join in Future Live Coverage on Twitter @Northern_star_

Newspaper article The Northern Star (Lismore, Australia)

At Coal Seam Gas Plans; Journalist Scott Harlum Used Twitter to Provide Live Updates on the Meeting to Northern Star Twitter Followers and Readers. Join in Future Live Coverage on Twitter @Northern_star_

Article excerpt

THE people demonstrated their power at a public meeting at the Lismore Workers Club on Thursday night by damning the coal-seam gas industry and sending a clear message to mining companies that many don't want them here on the North Coast.

About 700 attended the meeting, which was arranged by a collaboration of North Coast anti coal-seam gas groups.

Speakers included Lismore Mayor Jenny Dowell, Greens MLA Jeremy Buckingham, Dr Mariann Lloyd-Smith of the National Toxics Network, and Norco chairman Greg McNamara.

Cr Dowell said the industry must not be allowed to threaten local food production, tourism and future land use.

She also said claims the industry would boost employment and be a cash-cow for the region were wrong.

But she urged anti-coal seam gas protesters to work within the law and not derail the process of opposition to the industry.

Dr Lloyd-Smith said air pollution released when gas wells were allowed to flare was a asleeper no one is thinking abouta.

She also said chemicals released in the gas-extraction process were dangerous, even below detectable levels.

aThe chemicals can do damage that we can't even test for,a she said.

Norco chairman Greg McNamara said his company was slow off the mark to raise concerns about coal-seam gas, but was clear in his determination to put a stop to the industry.

aThis (fight) isn't about tomorrow, this is about forever,a he said.

But one of the most controversial comments of the evening came from the floor.

One man, who claimed to have links to the coal-seam gas industry, said coal-seam gas company Metgasco had hydraulically fractured a well at Casino during the day.

As reported by the Northern Star yesterday, a small group of protesters from the Richmond Valley Group Against Gas gathered at the site of a gas well near the Casino airport to peacefully object to works at the site. …

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