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Star shines on protest action


"Something really beautiful": environmental campaigner Jess Moore.

JESS Moore, the public face of the Stop-CSG movement in the Illawarra, has been named Rising Star at the Nature Conservation Council of NSW’s annual awards.

Stop-CSG Illawarra also won the Council’s Marie Byles Award for the most outstanding new environmental campaign, which has included mass public protests in the form of a human sign at Austinmer Beach and a march across the Sea Cliff Bridge.

Ms Moore said she lived and breathed the campaign, dedicating up to 40 hours a week to the cause. “It’s all I talk about and all I think about,” she said.

She and partner Chris Williams, who also spearheads the campaign, are consumed with the fight to stop coal seam gas mining in the area. “It’s harder and easier,” she said of her relationship. “We work very well together … I don’t know how anyone else would put up with either of us!”

Ms Moore said the awards allowed them to pause and reflect on all they had gained through the campaign, particularly the new friends who “share a lot of the same values”.

“The concern is so broad, we have been working with groups we haven’t dealt with before,” she said. “At the same time the community is facing something frightening, something really beautiful has grown – we have developed meaningful relationships that have been built on working together.”

Ms Moore said about 200 people were active in the campaign, with a core group of eight. They sell Stop-CSG T-shirts for a small profit but the campaign is mostly funded by “passing the hat around”.

She was heartened by the decision by Federal Independent Tony Windsor to insist on more research and a moratorium on CSG exploration before he lent his support to the Government’s mining tax legislation.

“He has such common sense and he’s speaking for so many people,” Ms Moore said. 

She said the NSW Government’s decision to place a moratorium on all new exploration licences was not enough and existing approvals should be halted.

“It’s right to put a pause on the industry as the compensation that would be payable now would be much less than it would be if they complete their exploration and prove they can get gas out – it would be worth 100 times the value.”


Posted via email from Northern Exposure


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