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Mirboo North bans gas

THE Mirboo North district came together on Sunday to declare the area the biggest Gippsland coal, coal seam gas exploration and mining free zone.
The Declaration Day included an art and poetry exhibition entitled Our Precious Land., as well as raffles, artisans, gourmet foods and live music.
“This is all to highlight a lot of work,” Mirboo North’s Marg Thomas said.
The objective to become mining free has been a two year work in progress.
Farmers, business owners, community organisations and families added their voice to the growing movement to stop the potential expansion of coal and gas mining.
The declaration was based on a community survey, during which 96 per cent of households support a mining free region.
Of the 861 households approached, 830 were against coal seam gas mining.
A petition was also distributed, gaining 7000 signatures.
“It sends a very strong, verifiable signal to government and mining companies that people are standing together and will not allow access to their land for mining purposes,” Ms Thomas said.
Poowong, Harmer’s Haven, Yarragon South and Seaspray are among the other towns to become gas free.
The community is concerned Mirboo North’s tourism industry could be negatively affected if mining occurs in and around the town.
Denyse Menzies is among the small business owners in town. After living in Syria for 30 years, Ms Menzies came to Mirboo North for the lifestyle and the country.
“We accept farming activities but would like to maintain the amenity of the area,” she said.
“It would spoil the community.”
Ms Menzies is also concerned about potential health effects.
The potential dangers are concerning. Farmers become vulnerable to water contamination and livelihoods are at risk.
“We have such an affinity to the land. We don’t want mining to ruin and contaminate it,” Ms Thomas said.
“This is just another layer of protection.”
Mirboo North residents identify strongly with the land and its amenity. Farmers have said they are unhappy about the idea of sharing their land with mining activities.
The event on the weekend was hosted by Coal and CSG Free Mirboo North in conjunction with Friends of the Earth.

Coal free zone: Remy Dunkan, Kerrin Shelford, Kirra Bolton, Phoenix Darmuc, Julie Walton, Michael Bell, Marion Bell, Marggie Evison, Naomi Grant and Gary Evison are thrilled with Mirboo North’s declaration.

Coal free zone: Remy Dunkan, Kerrin Shelford, Kirra Bolton, Phoenix Darmuc, Julie Walton, Michael Bell, Marion Bell, Marggie Evison, Naomi Grant and Gary Evison are thrilled with Mirboo North’s declaration.

Short URL: http://thestar.com.au/?p=9988

Posted by on Feb 11 2014. Filed under Community, Featured. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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