A NEW pro-mining Facebook group has sprung up following approval of AGL’s Waukivory Pilot Project to frack four coal seam gas wells in the Gloucester valley.
‘Gloucester Supports Mining’ was set up by administrator Kylie Cole on Tuesday (August 12) and as of this morning (Friday) had 267 members.
In her first post on the page, Ms Cole wrote: ‘most locals know that for years, mining has been the main driving force in our town. Without it our town was dead and buried long ago’.
In the post Ms Cole said the closure of timber mills, dairy farmers and the local butter factory had seen substantial job losses in Gloucester.
“Then along came the mine, which created jobs for the locals again and put money back into town, it brought new families to town who have since settled here, their children going to school and working local, growing up and having families of their own and continuing to live locally,” Ms Cole wrote.
Ms Cole wrote protests which began immediately after the State government approved the fracking were not welcomed by the people of Gloucester.
“We have people who don’t even live in the area coming into our town and picketing and protesting about the mine,” she wrote.
“Setting up a protester camp to accommodate 50 tents with the option to expand and making our town look ugly with all the signs they have continually pushed down our throats.
“Let’s protest against the protesters. Let’s show them that this is our town and in our town mining is supported.”
Groundswell Gloucester chair Julie Lyford said the issue of coal seam gas (CSG) extended far beyond the boundaries of the town.
“People will come anyway because the CSG industry is not wanted across NSW,” she said.
“Farmers especially are prepared to come and support the fight against CSG.
“For people to say it is just about Gloucester is naïve. There are 75,000 residents in the Manning River catchment area that will also be affected.
“If CSG gets a foothold in Gloucester it will be open slather across the rest of the State.”
Supporters of the page have been encouraged to display stickers with slogans including ‘Stop the whining, start the mining’ and ‘Support coal, or sit in the dark’.
They have also been urged to attend the Advance Gloucester meeting at the Gloucester Bowling Club next Wednesday.