Some of the 3000 protesters march across Sea Cliff Bridge during yesterday's campaign against the mining of coal seam gas. Pictures: ROBERT PEET
One of the Illawarra's most serene and tranquil landscapes was used to deliver a noisy message to the NSW Government yesterday.About 3000 protesters took to Sea Cliff Bridge to voice their opposition to coal seam gas mining as part of a national campaignPolice closed off Lawrence Hargrave Dr between Stanwell Park and Clifton from 11.30am to 1.30pm.The protest came ahead of this morning's NSW Planning Assessment Commission public meeting hearing community concerns over Apex Energy's proposal to drill a 16th bore hole at Darkes Forest.Apex received approval two years ago to operate 15 bore holes but has yet to act on the consent.The crowd marched across the bridge to Clifton. PHOTO GALLERY: Coal seam gas rallyTwo abseilers scaled halfway down the escarpment cliff and unfurled a giant Stop CSG banner.Event organiser and Stop CSG Illawarra member Jess Moore believed the majority of the walkers were from the Illawarra."It's great to see such large numbers here from the local communities," Ms Moore said during the march."It's increasingly clear, based on these types of events, that the level of opposition to CSG, both nationally and in the Illawarra, is growing," she added.Ms Moore said the protest movement was calling for an immediate moratorium on all approved CSG mining, a royal commission of inquiry into the full impacts of CSG and a ban on the fracking process.Coalcliff neighbours John Bignell, 66, and Richard Major, 50, said they were concerned over the effects CSG mining would have on the region's water table."There's not been sufficient consultation or thought given to the impact it will have on the water table, upland swamps and the environment in general," Mr Major said."The energy companies and the Government have just rushed into it without thinking long-term."