CSG anger not going away as more protests scheduled

Coal seam gas exploration in the Illawarra is set for another spate of protests as activists gear up to target thousands of local households as part of a new campaign.

Anti-CSG activists have printed 30,000 leaflets which they will distribute to homes around the Illawarra.

The leaflets explain why they think proposed drilling should be banned in water catchment areas, The Illawarra Mercury reported.

Stop CSG Illawarra co-founder, Jess Moore, met the five Illawarra mayors and state MPs for Kiama, Heathcote and Wollondilly to discuss tactics.

All oppose the plan to drill for gas in the catchment area.

"We want the 2 per cent of land in NSW that supplies the drinking water of 60 per cent of people protected," Moore said.

Moore said plans for a blockade were in place should permission be given to Apex Energy to drill 16 exploration wells.

"We are doing a lot of logistical preparation at the moment but we can only prepare as much as we have information," Moore said.

Apex Energy has previously said it would not be using ‘fracking’ and denies the wells would pose a risk to drinking water.

The Illawarra region has seen a storm of protests against proposals to explore CSG in the area.

Last month Wollongong councillors stepped up a campaign to send a strong message to the NSW Department of Planning an Infrastructure that they do not want CSG exploration to go ahead in the region.

Greens councillor George Takacs urged the council to demand the government prohibit any new coal, oil and gas exploration permits amid growing environmental concerns.

"The whole debate about coal seam gas completely misses the bloody point – we are talking about the security of our water and agriculture [but] our agriculture had no security in a planet that warms by another four degrees," he said.

"There's only one course of action if we're serious, and that is to not issue any further exploration permits."

Liberal councillor Leigh Colacino's said he was also opposed to CSG exploration near drinking water catchments.

"I think the idea of extraction from within the Wollongong catchment areas is an abhorrent thought," he said.

More than 3000 people turned out to Bulli Showground In October, forming a human sign that read:

‘‘Protect H2O, stop CSG!’’.

While in Queensland, CSG protesters declared war on the mining industry at a protest on the weekend.

A number of speakers including landholder and founder of Save Our Darling Downs Ruth Armstrong and radio broadcaster Alan Jones addressed about 500 people gathered at the Cecil Plains protest.  

"This is a war and this is an army so rally the troops. We can't do it alone,"  Armstrong told the crowd.

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