Residents views mixed on Metgasco's new Casino shopfront
UPDATE: THE Northern Star took to the streets of Casino this morning to ask a handful of residents what they thought about Metgasco's impending return to the region following their 12-month suspension.
And it seems after almost five years of controversy surrounding coal-seam gas, many Casino residents still feel confused about whether gas is a good thing, or a bad thing.
Lifetime Northern Rivers resident Sheffie Mohammed said he was not in favour of the industry operating on "good agricultural land", but he was happy with it "out west" beyond the prime farming land.
"None of our neighbours are in favour of it," the North Casino resident remarked.
But others expressed conditional support for the industry.
Family man and recent Casino arrival Geoff Milton said he had "nothing against" Metgasco as long as controls were in place to ensure the industry wouldn't damage the land, water, and air.
Mr Milton, a hard-working father of one who moved to Casino 18 months ago from the Gold Coast with longtime partner Danielle Jones, said a gas industry would "give some people an incentive to get ahead" in the "struggling" town.
"If it can be safe, we do need the jobs," he said.
"Casino needs something, and with the gas comes trade jobs. It gives this town a future.
"As it is, the town's dying."
Another Casino resident Natalie Sinclair agreed that "as long as it doesn't damage our children's welfare" and was sustainable it could help the local economy.
But others were careful not to give an opinion one way or the other, arguing there was confusion and misinformation on both sides.
Julee Bell said while she was "leaning towards the negative… sometimes a little bit of information is worse than having no information".
"You need to know the whole story," she said.
Likewise, Casino resident Lyn, said she had heard good things about the industry from a councillor who had visited Roma in Queensland, but had also felt the passion of protesters at Bentley.
"I think it's something that we need more information about," she said.
INITIAL REPORT: FRESH from the overturning of their Bentley drilling suspension, Metgasco has unveiled a new shopfront on Barker St.
The shop comes complete with detailed signage about the industry in the windows, and highly visible company banners clearly designed to stand out on one of Casino's busiest streets.
The shopfront is expected to formally opened by the end of May.
Metgasco chief executive Peter Henderson said he hoped it would help "overcome the fear and smear campaign that has been waged against Metgasco and the industry".
"The gas industry has the potential to add huge value to our local community and NSW in general," Mr Henderson said.