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Gasfield Free Northern Rivers will today present Northern Rivers candidates with more than 6000 signed postcards. The postcards call on candidates to support the community’s call for a Gasfield Free Northern Rivers and have been collected in just six weeks.

The postcards will be presented this morning at 10am at Riverside Park alongside the Wilsons River in Lismore.

“We are presenting the postcards at the Wilsons River to highlight the fact that major waterways and water supply areas for our region are still covered by active gas exploration licences,” said Elly Bird, Regional Coordinator for Gasfield Free Northern Rivers.

“For example, parts of the Wilsons River catchment, which is one of Rous Water’s regional water supply areas, are covered by a gas licence that was renewed by the current government in November 2014. Rous Water supplies around 90,000 people across the region, including the residents of Lismore, Ballina and Byron Bay.”

“Rous Water have identified that we may well need to rely on ground water in the near future as water demand outstrips current supply options. Large scale gas production in our catchments would place these vital groundwater resources at risk.”

“River systems covered by active licences include the Clarence which is the biggest river on the east coast, the Richmond and the Wilsons rivers and the headwaters of the Tweed. These waterways are relied on by our agricultural and tourism industries and are used recreationally by our communities.

“The threat to our regional water supply areas, and the impacts of gasfield industrialisation on our clean green tourist image are two of the reasons this is a big issue in all electorates across the Northern Rivers,”

“The candidates that are here today actively support the community’s wish to be gasfield free. Both Labor and the Greens have policies to ban unconventional gas right across our region.

“The thousands of people who have signed these postcards have declared that they will be voting for a Gasfield Free region on March 28th.”

“This means they will be choosing candidates who have made a commitment to protecting the water resources, farmlands and communities of the Northern Rivers from coal seam gas and other unconventional gas mining.”

“In yet another phenomenal display of community sentiment on this issue, these postcards have been collected in just 6 weeks, and we know there are many more out there in the community that haven’t yet made it back to us.”

“The response of so many people to the postcards is another indication of just how important this issue will be in deciding the outcome of the upcoming election in Northern Rivers electorates.” she concluded.

For Comment : Elly Bird 0418 639 927

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