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Council tables CSG concerns

WOLLONGONG City Council will outline its concerns about coal seam gas mining on the escarpment to the NSW Legislative Council Standing Committee Inquiry into Coal Seam Gas.

At Monday night’s council meeting, councillors acknowledged the widespread concern in the community about coal seam gas activities in the Illawarra.

The councillors agreed to urge the State Government to rule out coal seam gas activities in the city’s water catchment areas.

Lord Mayor Gordon Bradbery said he understood the community’s concerns about the environmental impacts of coal seam gas mining and it was important for council to look into the issue.

“We know – because of the huge response to a public rally held on Austinmer Beach in May and a petition presented to Council in June – this is a major concern for many Illawarra residents,’’ Cr Bradbery said.

“That is why we have asked Council officers to prepare a report on coal seam gas mining, which will outline the community and council’s concerns, as well as evaluate the short and long-term environmental impacts.”

The report would be included in a submission by Council to the NSW Legislative Council Standing Committee Inquiry into Coal Seam Gas for its December meeting in Bowral.

The Council’s discussions on coal seam gas mining follow an application to the NSW State Government earlier this year by Apex Energy to put a test well on Sydney Catchment Authority land.

Monday night’s resolution follows a presentation and submission of a petition against coal seam gas mining to Council on June 21. This petition was forwarded to NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell, Opposition Leader John Robertson and a number of other state government ministers.

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