Lismore councillors to consider blocking Metgasco drill rig

LISMORE CITY councillors will tonight debate whether to try banning the truck carrying Metgasco's drill rig to Bentley from using the city's roads.

A motion being presented by Vanessa Ekins and Simon Clough urges councillors to  to refuse approval for a 36 tonne prime mover and trailer from using roads in the Lismore LGA.

The wording for the motion going to the council's ordinary meeting tonight is:

That Lismore City Council refuses a request for an OSOM (Oversize/Overmass) permit request from HHA Holdings QLD.  This  request  is refused under the Heavy Vehicle National Law on the basis that it will "Cause damage to road infrastructure.

"It is believed that that the vehicle which is 2 tonnes over weight and 1 metre over size is planned for Metgasco's Bentley well," a statement announcing the motion says.

"Our roads have been this Council's major priority," Cr Clough says in the statement.  

"We have been cutting services to improve their quality and it makes no sense to have them destroyed by this massive vehicle. 

"If invasive industrial gas mining is to go ahead in this area all our roads will be under constant threat from huge tankers, drilling rigs and all manner of heavy equipment. 

"This is definitely the thin edge of the wedge and must be stopped now.

"One of the grounds for refusing an OSOM (Oversize/Overmass) permit is that it will 'Cause damage to road infrastructure'.  

"Even though advice to councillors is that this vehicle will not damage our roads I believe a vehicle of this size must cause some damage to our already failing road system."

Cr Ekins says in the statement she is concerned about "toxic residue this vehicle may contain".

"We have received reliable information that the drilling rig that Metgasco has hired was delayed in Queensland for three weeks while it was decontaminated for asbestos. 

"We are also concerned about the contents of the mud tank, continued Cr Ekins. Metgasco claimed they would not introduce contaminated mud into the Bentley well."



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