Sea of hands support gasfield free region at Tamworth public meeting

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Media Release 26 February 2013

Over 160 people packed the Tamworth Community Centre last night, attending the public meeting Health, Environment and Economy: What does coal seam gas and mining mean for your region?
Tamworth public meeting 25 Feb 2013 smMeeting chair and Maules Creek farmer Phil Laird was encouraged by the audience. “A sea of hands shot up across the room in support of Tamworth being a coal seam gas free region in what appeared to be a unanimous vote,” he said.
Author and guest speaker Sharyn Munro said, “The meeting was an unqualified success. The huge response at Tamworth shows just how concerned people are about the spread and impacts of these extractive industries.”
Mark Ogge of the Australia Institute warned the high Australian dollar was crowding out other industries. “In question time we heard first hand from farmers in the wheat industry who are already feeling the impacts of the high Aussie dollar, who are losing jobs and export business,” he said.
Local Tamworth resident Jan Bryan said, “It was encouraging to meet so many people from across Tamworth who now want to work together to protect the region from mining and gas. Last night we set a follow up meeting for Monday 11 March at the Tamworth Community Centre so we can get started.”
The Tamworth meeting is the first of a string of public meetings taking place across the North West this week.
New England Federal MP Tony Windsor is expected to attend the Gunnedah Public Meeting at the Gunnedah Services and Bowling Club from 6:30pm tonight.
The public meetings are an initiative of the Northwest Alliance, a collection of over 30 groups working for the protection of Northwest NSW land, water and communities from the problems associated with coal seam gas and open cut coal mining.