Come to Narrabri Shire Council to support the “Precautionary Principle” NEXT TUESDAY 4TH FEB 2014


As many of you are aware, Cr O’Regan is putting forward a motion at the next Narrabri Shire Council meeting that the Shire adopt the “Precautionary Principle”.  I have put a formal definition at the end of this email but, basically, it simply says “if you don’t know what the impacts are, then don’t do it”. If you, the constituent, feel that is what the Councillor’s YOU ELECTED should adopt – YOU MUST TURN UP. I have also noted some issues where Council has been remiss.

A number of people propose speaking to the motion, in the 3 minutes per person allotted by Council, in addition to Cr O’Regan.  What we need is EVERYONE, ESPECIALLY NARRABRI SHIRE RATEPAYERS, TO TURN UP NEXT TUESDAY 4TH FEBRUARY and be in the gallery of the Council chambers, 46-48 Maitland St.  This will be a short action.  The meeting starts at 9 am so you should be there by 8:45.  Bring placards, etc.  It should all be over in less than an hour.  Although the motion itself is not a game changer, it is the only motion or application we are aware of in the foreseeable future where we can take a stand. As seen recently, Council is under pressure and we need to keep building our voice. Waiting till later will simply be too late.  So we would like hundreds of people there to show Council that they are on the wrong track with coal and coal seam gas.

 Please circulate this as widely as you can, as we want people from all over the region and beyond to come, supported by a strong contingent from Narrabri Shire and surrounds.  If we don’t stop it here, together, then it becomes a much larger and difficult target.




Hugh Barrett

President, People for the Plains

 The Precautionary Principle is defined under Australia’s 1992 Inter Governmental Agreement on the Environment as: “Where there are threats of serious or irreversible environmental damage, lack of full scientific certainty should not be used as a reason for postponing measures to prevent environmental degradation. In the application of the precautionary principle, private and public decisions should be guided by:

(i)    careful evaluation to avoid, wherever practical, serious or irreversible damage to the environment: and

(ii) an assessment of the risk weighted consequences of various options.

 Narrabri Shire Council has been remiss and should be held accountable for not protecting their ratepayers and their (the ratepayers) assets by :

1)      Promoting the extraction of coal seam gas in PEL 238 as a viable industry without offering any protections or advice to their ratepayers as to the possible adverse effects.

2)      Promoting the extraction of coal in the Shire without the adequate monitoring of the adverse effects to their ratepayers.

3)      Not informing the residents and ratepayers of the Shire to the known detriments to their health and to the environment  by the very extractive industries that this Shire Council is promoting.

4)      Not adequately  and formally recognising the completed surveys of those same residents and ratepayers  who have stated overwhelmingly that they want to be coal and coal seam gas free.

5)      Endorsing and promoting the construction of the MAC Village on flood prone land where previous applications had been consistently denied.