The Local Government and Shires Associations of NSW (LGSA) has discussed concerns over the impacts on coal mining and coal seam gas extraction on local communities at a meeting of 13 northern NSW councils.

 

Held in Inverell, the meeting of B Division councils is the ninth in a series of Divisional Tours leading up to the Annual Shires Association meeting in June.

 

NSW Shires Association President, Cr Ray Donald, said much discussion revolved around coal seam gas mining and the need to address concerns by local communities and landholders about the impact mining developments will have on property rights, native vegetation, and water and food security.

 

"Greater community engagement and consultation is required before mining exploration licences and approvals are issued by the State Government," said Cr Donald.

 

"Whilst it's true that coal seam gas extraction and coal mining bring economic benefits and employment to townships, the environmental impact, the social and housing impacts, and the lifestyle of local communities and individuals needs to be taken into consideration."

 

"The cost and detrimental affect that mining and corresponding heavy freight vehicles have on infrastructure, such as local and regional road networks, also needs to be addressed by ensuring mining royalties are returned to local communities."

 

"Much of the unease felt by communities over coal seam gas mining is due to the disparity of compensation for landholders affected by drilling, compared to landholders compensated for the impacts of mineral and coal mining."