Coal seam gas objectors vow to blockade drilling sites 

A Planning Assessment Commission panel was told today  that protesters would blockade drilling sites if it approved an extension of time for a coal seam gas project on Sydney’s southern fringe.

More than 130 people crowded into the auditorium at Helensburgh Workers Sports and Social Club for the start of a public meeting on Apex Energy’s application for more time to explore an area that includes the Woronora drinking catchment.

Representatives of 12 organisations, and 20 people making individual submissions, were listed to speak.

The commission panel, chaired by former Roads and Traffic Authority chief executive Paul Forward, will decide the fate of the application, which the Department of Planning and Infrastructure recommended should continue.

Stop CSG Illawarra spokeswoman Jess Moore told the meeting there was an enormous amount of anecdotal evidence, as well as increasing scientific evidence, about the health risks associated with coal seam gas exploration and mining.

The meeting was due to hear from Tom Fontaine, a director of Magnum Gas & Power, which is in a joint venture with Apex Energy.

See Thursday’s Leader for more. 

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