Stratham declares no gasfields

by admin on July 13th, 2018

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Gasfield-free: Residents of Stratham and supporters presented their declaration to Capel shire president Murray Scott at a ceremony on Sunday. Photo: Jeremy HedleyThe locality of Stratham in the Shire of Capel has become the first community in the South West to declare itself gasfield-free.

The declaration from residents was presented to shire president Murray Scott at a gathering in Lovell Park in Stratham on Sunday.

While the declaration is not binding and has no legal weight, Mr Scott said it would act as a spur for the council to conduct their own official postal survey of residents to determine how council should approach the issue.

The declaration followed months of detailed survey work where members of the community went house-to-house, road-by-road asking residents if they wanted to declare themselves gasfield free.

Spokesperson for theStrathamGasfield Free Community Group Gillian Cormack said more than 500 residents over the age of 16 were surveyed and 98.7 per cent of the community had said yesto becoming gasfield-free.

“The results were overwhelmingly in favour ofa gasfield-free community,” Ms Cormack said.

“This means we don’t want the gas industry to set up, frack or operate in our community.In making this declaration we are sending a very clear message to the industry that it is not welcome inStratham.”

Gasfield-free communities are an initiative of the Lock the Gate Alliance and are designed to give communities the opportunity to have a say about whether their local area is industrialized for gas production.

Ms Cormack told the Mail the survey had been a positive process for the community.

“It has brought the community together and createdlinks that didn’t exist beforehand and created a process that we can follow to remain vigilant over the coming months or years about this issue of gas mining in the South West,” she said.

“I was very pleased that Murray Scott came along and represented the shire councillors and was open and willing to accept the declaration. He wasn’t biased either way and provided information that even if the shire doesn’t accept the applications for licenses to mine, the mining companies still have other processes that they can do so we have to be preparedthat the challenge might be over a long period of time. It hasn’t finished with our simple survey.”

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