OUR VIEW: Residents have spoken; council has listened

During Monday night’s meeting council sent a clear message to anyone thinking about undertaking Coal Seam Gas exploration in the Dubbo Regional Council area. 

After months of campaigning the voice of residents was heard by councillors who have unanimously voted to say they don’t support the exploration of Coal Seam Gas Production in the local government area because of the negative impacts it has on the environment and the lack of lasting economic benefit on the community. 

A massive 94 per cent of the 661 responses to council’s online poll asking if Coal Seam Gas should be extracted in the region said ‘no’. 

Much of the campaigning to make Dubbo a Coal Seam Gas region was done by the Gasfield Free Dubbo committee and the Knitting Nanna’s who’s peaceful protest make many in the community aware of the negative impacts Coal Seam Gas exploration would have on the environment. 

It’s a conversation that council have been having for awhile – but it seems the sentiment of the community has never changed and the response to Coal Seam Gas has been clear. 

The decision follows similar motions at council’s in the Moree and Coonamble Shires and opens up the question to other council’s in the wider region. 

The Knitting Nanna’s were happy with the result when the Daily Liberal spoke to them after the council meeting. 

 “We are overjoyed by this development which is for the benefit of all people in the Dubbo Regional Council area and indeed the entire state of NSW, as the land and water we all rely on is protected,” Gasfield Free Dubbo’s Sally Forsstrom said. 

She said it council’s decision to ban Coal Seam Gas was not only for the benefit of all of the Dubbo Region, but for all of NSW. 

It’s good to see that councillors are listening to residents when it comes to some matters – according to the comments on our social media pages, the Wellington meetings are another matter where residents were dismissed by some councillors. In his first deciding vote the mayor voted to not hold any more official council meetings in Dubbo. It’s a decision that has been frowned upon by the Wellington community and even questioned around Dubbo. 

While councillors are listening on some things, perhaps they need to listen on others too?