CSG consultation by Dubbo Regional Council starts

Issue in the spotlight: Dubbo Regional Council is inviting the community to have its say about coal seam gas exploration and development. Photo: Shutterstock
Issue in the spotlight: Dubbo Regional Council is inviting the community to have its say about coal seam gas exploration and development. Photo: Shutterstock

The community of Dubbo is being invited to have its say on coal seam gas (CSG) exploration and development.

Dubbo Regional Council has asked for input before it establishes a firm position about the industry.

Dubbo Regional mayor Ben Shields has encouraged community members to put forward their views to help the council “make an informed decision”.

The former Dubbo City Council had adopted a position paper on the issue in 2015.

As the council considered the mayoral minute in April, Cr Shields said there were no proposals in the Dubbo local government area (LGA) for CSG, but it was a matter of supporting neighbouring areas.

Community members Sally Forsstrom, Shirley Colless and Matt Parmeter all spoke at the April meeting against CSG exploration.

As the issue was opened to consultation this week, Cr Shields said the council wished to hear the views of the community formally through the submission process.

“This is an opportunity for the community to voice their opinion on coal seam gas exploration and production so council can make an informed decision,” Cr Shields said.

“Ultimately, any application for CSG exploration or production is a state government decision but it is important to establish the community’s view on the topic and for council to adopt a position to ensure this is considered in any future proposals.

Written and electronic submissions about CSG exploration and development in the Dubbo Regional LGA  are welcome up until 5pm on June 15.

“We are asking the community to tell us if they would support CSG exploration and production in the Dubbo Regional LGA and provide reasons for their response,” Councillor Shields said.

“With the community feedback council will then be able to consider the information in determining a position on CSG,” he said.

Submissions can be made online at council’s website www.dubbo.nsw.gov.au, email council@dubbo.nsw.gov.au or in writing to PO Box 81 Dubbo NSW 2830.