COAL Seam Gas-Free Declarations from 16 different areas of the Byron Shire were handed over to Byron Shire Mayor Simon Richardson on Sunday as part of a celebratory beachside market Declaration Day.
A whole market was set up to celebrate the day, with food, clothing and knick-knack stalls set up along the Byron beachside, as well as activities and entertainment for young and old.
The Byron areas of Arts and Industry Estate, Belongil, Broken Head, Byron CBD, Byron residential, Clarkes Beach and the Pass, Ewingsdale, Lilli Pilli, Paddison Hill, Skinners Shoot, Suffolk Park Baywood Chase, Suffolk Park Byron Hills, Suffolk Park Central, Suffolk Park Beachside, Sunrise and Wategos all handed over their CSG-free declarations to the Mayor, delivered by children representing each division.
Young Lennox Head personality Holley Somerville-Knott was on stage to announce each area and to entertain the crowd of an estimated1000 people.
The 10-year-old passionate environment activist and entertainer regularly performs at hospitals, nursing homes and CSG rallies, this time getting the crowd up and clapping as she rapped for them about her wishes for the region.
It was also announced that after a survey of Byron Shire, 98.6% of the shire’s population wanted the area to be gasfield-free.
While 20 people surveyed had said they wanted CSG in Byron, and 44 people had said they didn’t know, 4388 of the people surveyed said they most definitely did not want CSG in the shire.
Cr Richardson, said the day had shown him once again just how strong the community is.
He said one of the great things about the movement was the empowerment it had given or brought out within the community.
The people of Byron Shire, he said, were “walking the walk and talking the talk” when it came to what they stood for, and he said he thought it was great that they felt empowered enough to speak out on an issue they felt so strongly about.
“It makes me really proud to be part of an area that is so passionate,” Cr Richardson said.