Action group called to fight CSG

Residents are being urged to form an action group to deal with the potential impacts of planned exploration or mining of coal seam gas (CSG) in the region.

The Dubbo Field Naturalist and Conservation Society yesterday sent out fliers inviting the community to a CSG information session.

A Dubbo CSG action group will be formed at the meeting.

Plans for CSG exploration in a 9400 square kilometre area centred on Dubbo were announced in March.

The NSW government announced a six-month statewide freeze on CSG exploration activity later that month. The freeze expires on September 26.

The society’s president, Mr Tim Hosking, said the CSG action group would be a voice for the public, similar to those established in other regions like Coonabarabran and Coonamble.

“Groups in other areas have conducted marches, lobbied the local government to take a position,” he said.

“We’re facilitating a group to be formed- we will support the group, but we’re not equipped to tackle the issue ourselves.”

Mr Hosking said the issue affected much more than just the environment.

“At DFN&CS we are very worried about the ecosystem and the landscapes, but it’s not just an environmental issue. It affects agricultural productivity, housing, agricultural business,” he said.

The society plans to educate the community on the ins-and-outs of CSG mining, including the dangers at a public information session at the Dubbo RSL Memorial Club on August 24.

It will involve members of Lock-the-Gate, the lobby group strongly opposed to CSG mining, and other protest groups.

Mr Hosking said he expected hundreds of people would attend the meeting.

Dubbo City Council has not yet established a position on CSG exploration or extraction.

Lock-the-Gate has urged residents to ask the council to oppose the renewal of CSG and unconventional gas licenses.

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