Gordon Bradbery will use a lord mayoral minute at tonight’s Wollongong City Council (WCC) meeting to campaign the state government to protect drinking water catchments in its proposed coal seam gas exclusion zones.
Councillor Bradbery wants the council to endorse plans for himself and WCC general manager David Farmer to seek a meeting with NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell to request extending the zones to include the Sydney Drinking Water Catchment.
The motion also calls upon the council to write to express their concerns.
Cr Bradbery’s motion follows new rules, which came into effect on October 4, in which CSG mining was excluded within twokilometres of residential land within Wollongong, including the new release areas of West Dapto and Calderwood.
Cr Bradbery said that while the start of the residential exclusion zone and further amendments were welcome, the latest changes did not address the council’s concerns relating to the protection of the Sydney Drinking Water Catchment from CSG mining.
‘‘Council and the community have made numerous representations and submissions against CSG mining in the Sydney Drinking Water Catchment to no avail,’’ Cr Bradbery said.
‘‘... it appears that the challenge is to convince the Premier of the importance of Sydney’s Drinking Water Catchment to the population and the economy.’’
The western half of the Wollongong local government area, some 350square kilometres of land, is part of the Sydney Drinking Water Catchment area and has been classified as a Special Area by the Sydney Drinking Water Catchment Authority.
Cr Bradbery said the catchment area serves Sydney’s population and enables Sydney’s $296.8 billion gross domestic product.
‘‘Without clean drinking water, both the population and economy are at risk,’’ he said.
Further amendments to the government’s CSG mining policy changes are on exhibition, with submissions closing November 8.