Protestors converge at Riverside Park and then head through Lismore as part of a planned rally to protest against CSG mining operations in the Northern Rivers. Photo Marc Stapelberg / The Northern Star
Protestors converge at Riverside Park and then head through Lismore as part of a planned rally to protest against CSG mining operations in the Northern Rivers. Photo Marc Stapelberg / The Northern Star Marc Stapelberg

How people power can sway big decisions

THE Northern Rivers community show how powerful they can be following a successful campaign to stop a new sand quarry in Lennox Head.

Over the years a number of developers have been turned away, decisions have been overturned and projects made happen after strong community petitions and rallies.

The Northern Star revisits five of the major campaigns below:

Protestors converge at Riverside Park and then head through Lismore as part of a planned rally to protest against CSG mining operations in the Northern Rivers. Photo Marc Stapelberg / The Northern Star
Protestors converge at Riverside Park and then head through Lismore as part of a planned rally to protest against CSG mining operations in the Northern Rivers. Photo Marc Stapelberg / The Northern Star Marc Stapelberg

CSG

Years of community opposition to coal seam gas drilling on the Northern Rivers culminated in the blockade of a proposed drill site at Bentley.

A campaign was launched by groups such as Lock the Gate and Knitting Nannas, lobbying government to cancel exploration licences.

Blockades at Glenugie and Doubtful Creek were followed by the one at Bentley, earmarked by Metasco for exploration.

In the wake of huge opposition, the State Government suspended the licences, ultimately buying them back, ending the CSG industry on the Northern Rivers.

How we reported the decision

How the fight was won

Ballina deputy mayor Keith Williams, who joined the communitys fight against the asphalt plant both as a resident and as deputy mayor, said he was relieved by Holcims decision.
Ballina deputy mayor Keith Williams, who joined the communitys fight against the asphalt plant both as a resident and as deputy mayor, said he was relieved by Holcims decision. Marc Stapelberg

Asphalt Plant

Plans for a "toxic” asphalt plant were shelved just last month following a short and "intense” campaign by concerned residents of Teven.

Multinational company Fulton Hogan foreshadowed plans for the plant at the existing Stokers Lane rock quarry, operated by Holcim Australia. It would have produced 70,000 tonnes of asphalt a year.

On June 26 Holcim wrote to residents informing them they were not proceeding with the lease after listening to the community and responding to their feedback.

How the win was reported

DIVIDES OPINION: Part of the Bangalow Rural Industries Food Precinct DA showing the acoustic and visual barriers on the western side of the facility.
DIVIDES OPINION: Part of the Bangalow Rural Industries Food Precinct DA showing the acoustic and visual barriers on the western side of the facility. Contributed

Bangalow Food Hub

Hundreds of residents fought this development fiercely with multiple submissions to the DA, up until the Joint Regional Planning Panel denied it in October 2017.

The key feature of the food hub was three 5000sqm buildings which could be doubled in size to 10,000sqm. There was also a 3000sqm building, and four smaller buildings between 800-1000sqm.

The community opposed the food hub because it was "too big” for a smaller community. Their main concerns surrounded dramatic increase in traffic, particularly that of large trucks.

Local politicians said the food hub was a great idea for the Northern Rivers however they felt Bangalow was the wrong location for the precinct.

Our report on the decision

Lennox locals are happy the State Government has announced the Lennox Head Ski Jump will not going ahead.
Lennox locals are happy the State Government has announced the Lennox Head Ski Jump will not going ahead. Alina Rylko

Ski Jump

Maybe third time is the charm for the Northern Rivers Ski Jump?

Early 2017, the Lennox Head community fought hard with a number of rallies, submissions to the DA and fierce debates to stop the ski jump on their coast line.

The 12-storey structure was described as an "eye-sore” by the Lennox Head Against the Ski Jump group.

Nationals Parliamentary Secretary Ben Franklin announced it would not being going ahead on May 27 at a big protest on the main beach.

Following that decision, plans were presented to Lismore City Council.

Report the ski jump axing

Norco has appointed a new chief executive officer.
Norco has appointed a new chief executive officer. Norco

NORCO milk (in Lismore Base Hospital)

The community, supported by the local politicians, were able to reverse the decision from the Health Service Union to abandon local milk supplier NORCO, just one week after it was announced.

Healthshare, which runs the Lismore Base Hospital kitchen, awarded a contract for milk supplies to Dairy Farmers on May 11, 2018.

But following community uproar, Health Minister Brad Hazzard reversed a State Government decision to shun the Northern Rivers dairy co-op on May 17.

He said the NSW Government recognised the community wanted to support the local dairy industry in Northern NSW.

Reporting Norco's good news