A Mountain of resistance to Coal Seam Gas

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Over 400 residents of the Mountain Districts and the Central Coast joined together on Saturday the 28th (Feb) to declare the Mountain Districts communities Gasfield Free.

SMH journalist and former rugby player Peter FitzSimons and Cr. Greg Best (Wyong) spoke in support of the community’s intent to keep the coal seam gas industry out of the area’s water catchment and aquifers.

During the event, held at Neills Park in Kulnura, declaration documents were handed through the assembled crowd until they reached community elders Ed Morris and Betty Bromfield, before being then handed to youth ambassadors Leilani Healey and Jake Bright.

Gasfield Free Mountain Districts co-convenor Simon Perry said, “Residents of the Mountain Districts recognise that we have an inter-generational responsibility for the stewardship of this land and our water. The passing of the declaration statement through everyone’s hands, to our respected elders and onto our area’s young ambassadors represents this shared responsibility.”

The Gasfield Free Mountain Districts Declaration states:

“We, the Residents of the Mountain Districts Declare this district is Gasfield Free. We recognise that our districts are protected by the will of the community. We made this decision through community consultation and engagement. We recognise that our best defence is by standing together. If we detect any activity by gas companies here, we will raise an alert and ask their representatives to leave. We are committed to stopping gasfield industrialisation in our communities. In doing this we protect our water, soil, air and future. We will protect our communities from the destructive impacts of the coal seam gas industry.”

“Thank you to everyone who came to the event from the area, including Cr. Hillary Morris, Cr. Gabby Bowles, Greens Candidate Kate de Costa and Labor candidate Kathy Smith.”, said Mr. Perry. “With the NSW State election now just a few weeks away it is time for all standing candidates to take heed of the wishes of the community and if elected support legislation that permanently protects our aquifers, water catchments, farms and areas of environmental importance.”

The Declaration ceremony reiterates the united will of the community against coal seam gas, after a house-to-house survey conducted during 2014 found that 98.2% of the area’s residents oppose coal seam gas activity. Recently both Wyong and Gosford councils unanimously passed twinned resolutions reaffirming the respective council’s stance against coal seam gas, and standing in support of the Mountain Districts’ residents.

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4 weeks to go to our Community Declaration!

If you love our district landscape of forests, farms and spring fed streams please stand up and be counted.

If Coal Seam Gas miners take up their licence to mine here they will, potentially, devastate the landscape and farms and pollute the underground water. There is plenty of evidence, in other places in Australia, that this will be our fate.

Legally we have very few ways to protect the district, but an extremely potent way we can resist the miners coming is by community action to Declare the whole district “Gasfield Free”.

We are organising a district wide Declaration and Celebration, on the afternoon of Saturday February 28th, to tell the many invited politicians, media and local VIP’s that the community has Declared the Mountain Districts Gasfield Free. This will make it very clear to them that we want the Petroleum Exploration Licence that covers the district removed for ever.

Your presence at the Declaration is very important because a huge crowd of locals will be very convincing. It will also be fun. We will have live music, food stalls, entertainment for the kids and a Declaration ceremony involving some of our young and older community members.

We need volunteers for setting up, food stalls and for the Declaration. Please message us if you would like to volunteer.

Please stand up for the community and come to the Declaration.
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Gasfield Free Mountain District Declaration

Declaration Poster footerSave the date! The next step in our process to keep the coal seam gas miners off the Mountain will take place on Saturday the 28th of February, and WE NEED YOU to come along and have some fun (not too much to ask).

On the back of the road survey conducted last year we will be holding a Gasfield Free Mountain District Declaration to celebrate our community achievements so far, and also make clear our intentions to local political candidates (in the lead up to the NSW election, the media and so on). This is a really important event and it is also really important that we have a huge show of community support and involvement to demonstrate the united nature of the community’s opposition to coal seam gas.

Local politicians and candidates will be invited, so you can have a chance too to sound them out in person about their stance on CSG mining on the Mountain. But its not all work, we also have music, food and some fun for the kids of the Mountain District planned too – more details to come soon.

We’ve already been asked by some out-of-town supporters too about where to stay and we’ve arranged for a special discount at two hotel/motels in Gosford. For details on that offer please see here: Gas Field Free Offer Feb 2015

400 Central Coast residents raise their hand in support of keeping CSG and coal mining off the Mountain

hands up for CSG free Central Coast

400 Central Coast residents packed out the Central Coast Grammar School hall on Thursday night (27/11) to learn about the risks posed by coal seam gas and coal mining to drinking water, local industries, nature and human health.

Gasfield Free Mountain Districts Co-convenor Simon Perry asked for a show of hands from the audience in support of the residents of the Mountain Districts and the community’s overwhelming desire to remain Gasfield Free. The result was a near unanimous raising of arms across the audience.

Local Anglican Church leader Father Rod Bower and Australian Actor Michael Caton kicked off a rousing program of speakers that included Kulnura local and expert on the aquifers Andrew Shirley and Julie Lyford (Chair – Groundswell Gloucester). Dayne Pratzky, feature of the soon to be released film Frackman described how he has been driven off his Tara property by CSG mining, and Jilliby local Alexia Martinez spoke on her concerns over coal mining.

The Central Coast is at the frontline of coal seam gas and coal mining issues with much of the Mountains District and drinking water catchment for the Central Coast is overlaid by AGL’s coal seam gas exploration license.

Speakers called on candidates from all political parties to take heed of the demands of local residents that the area be permanently protected from coal seam gas mining.

Public Forum – November 27th at Central Coast Grammar School

Momentum is building on the Coast to support a Gasfield Free Mountain District.

Date for the diary: the evening of November 27th there will be a big

community meeting being held at Central Coast Grammar School.

Come along to show the community that we don’t want CSG on the Mountain.

Very important – please spread this to ALL your coastie contacts!

RSVP here.

See you there!
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God is on our side…

…or at least Father Rod Bower of the Anglican Church, Gosford is.

The Anglican Church in Mann Street Gosford is famous worldwide for the socially concious and sometimes provocative messages posted on the billboard outside the church. From supporting Gay Marriage to calling for humane treatment of asylum seekers to simply calling out Tony Abbott for being…well….Tony Abbott the church’s prominent billboard says it like it is.

Which is why we’re very pleased that today it says this:

Billboard SqIt is of course a nice play on words in a number of ways, but “Mary” in this case refers to Mary O’Kane (NSW Chief Scientist” who in her recently published Coal Seam Gas review stated that “Coal Seam Gas mining (can have) unintended consequences“.

We met with Fr. Rod Bower a couple of weeks ago to explain what was happening with the Gasfree Mountain Districts campaign and explain our concerns regarding CSG mining and the aquifer we all rely upon and share, as well as share with the coastal communities of the Central Coast. Fr. Rod agrees with us that the risks to the aquifer are too great and that we cannot afford for the destruction of the ground water to be an “unintended consequence” of CSG mining. He offered to help spread the word via his billboard.

The message above is the first of what should be a series of such messages from now through to March 2015 (the NSW State Election), part of our partnership with the Our Central Coast / Our Land, Our Water, Our Future campaign that we mentioned in our email news update last week. If you didn’t receive that email – make sure you subscribe for the next one using the link on the top right hand side of this website.

Coffee drunk, cake eaten and the CSG industry unravelled

SP+JL+AS+JELast night’s community meeting to delve into the more technical aspects of CSG mining and the specific impact to the Mountain Districts aquifers explored a range of sobering areas. Kulnura local and Geotechnical Forensic expert Andrew Shirley spoke at depth on the risks posed to our aquifers by CSG mining. Julie Lyford, former Mayor of Gloucester nor full time activist and Chair of Groundswell Gloucester took time from her busy schedule to share with us a glimpse of the hard battle Gloucester residents are engaged in with AGL to stop the town and rich farming industry being decimated by CSG mining.

Everyone also enjoyed a fantastic spread of cakes provided by the Gasfield Free Mountain committee.

Pictured above (from left to right) Simon Perry (Co-convenor Gasfield Free Mountain Districts), Julie Lyford, Andrew Shirley, John Edye (Co-convenor Gasfield Free Mountain Districts).

We’d again like to thank Julie and Andrew for their fantastic presentations and generosity in spending time to share their knowledge. A very thought-provoking session.

A detailed report will be posted soon.

The message tree

Last Sunday a few of the Gasfield Free Mountain Districts Committee took part at the Mangrove Mountain Markets. Those of us there had a great time under sunny skies and really enjoyed the opportunity to engage with interested folk who came up to both find out what was going on as well as give words of thoughtful support.

John Edye and Simon Perry chat with Kulnura local Rob Meggs

John Edye and Simon Perry chat with Kulnura local Rob Meggs

Last time we were at the markets so many folk wanted to sign a petition or similar that we decided it would be good idea to have a “message tree” that can be a place for folk to hang their words, whilst our volunteers work throughout the community conducting the formal survey. As a result our committee member Poppe got creative and built us a Message Tree out of a couple of Gymea Lillies, which is a great symbol of our local area and indeed one that our parent community group the MDA has chosen to symbolise the Mountain Districts.

Message Tree 1

Check out the full gallery of Sunday’s messages here:

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