MORE than 1500 protesters attended an anti-coal seam gas rally at Byron Bay at the weekend, linking up to spell out “NO CSG” across main beach.
Organisers Ashlee Thompson and Rebecca de Gail were ecstatic at the turn-out, saying that planning for the rally only began about a week ago after Ms Thompson saw a similar protest planned for Austinmer Beach in the Illawarra.
“When we saw the protest down south we thought we should join in,” she said.
“The t-shirts and signs say it all ... I love the fact that the people who live here care so much about the future.”
Ms Thompson said she had originally hoped for about 600 people to show up but word spread quickly through social networking websites and email, attracting grassroots followers and the support of the fast-growing Lock the Gate Alliance from Queensland and local environmental group Northern Rivers Guardians.
The Illawarra protest attracted about 3000 people.
Lock the Gate president Drew Hutton was a guest speaker at the rally and drew rousing applause.
“We’ve got farmers all over Queensland locking their gates and we’ve had blockades as part of a massive campaign to save our farmland, wilderness and underground water from the biggest threat it has ever had,” he said.
Ms Thompson said Northern Rivers residents did not want a coal seam gas industry and sent Prime Minister Julia Gillard a clear message.
“We want her to know that it’s war and we’re going to win it,” she told the rally.
Last week the NSW Government introduced a 60-day moratorium on new exploration licences.
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