The Wednesday 19 July Wellington Shire Council meeting was focused on the future of onshore gas mining. Prior to the meeting CSG-free Maffra noted “It is important we fill the public gallery with supporters holding signs to display the need for a permanent ban on onshore gas mining in Victoria. The Mayor, Darren McCubbin, will report on his meeting with Resources Minister, Wade Noonan and then call for comment from the gallery. With an August decision due about an onshore gas industry in Victoria, it is imperative we utilise every media opportunity to back our stance on a permanent ban of onshore gas mining.”
Darren McCubbin opened the meeting with his Mayor’s Report on discussions with Resources Minister, Wade Noonan earlier this month, to a packed public gallery. He outlined surrounding doubts on endorsing an onshore gas industry in Gippsland. His report was articulate and that of a progressive thinker, leaving Councillors to agree that there seemed little evidence an onshore gas industry would deliver economic benefits to outweigh the protection of our water and farmland.
Councillor Rossetti congratulated Darren McCubbin on, ‘The most exciting Mayor’s Report,’ he had heard in chambers, Councillor Crossley called for a ‘Permanent Ban’ and other Councillors stood to publicly announce the need for further scientific studies and an overhaul of the current regulatory framework surrounding onshore mining practices, with one Councillor announcing he would fight against an onshore gas industry.
Members from the public gallery were invited to respond before leaving the meeting to other tabled items on the agenda. Thanks echoed around the chambers. While supporters and councillors have met time and again over the past four years of the Gasfield-Free campaign, last night’s ‘on the record’ meeting has cemented a real sense of community cohesion on the issue. To have the backing of Wellington Shire Council will take us a long way in seeking a permanent ban on onshore gas mining in Gippsland.
Wednesday night’s historic Wellington Shire Council meeting is detailed via live streaming on the Council’s website. For further information contact Lorraine 0423 368 518