Beach carbon capture forum

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EMOTIONS ran high as representatives from the CarbonNet project met with the Golden Beach community at a drop-in information session on Wednesday.

At a Residents and Ratepayers Association meeting afterwards, concerns were raised, many saying their questions had not been answered.

Addressing the lack of communication, association president Heleena O’Sullivan said a better way to inform permanent and non-permanent residents should be found.

To date, information about the project has been communicated through Facebook, notice boards in the town, flyers in shops and letter box drops, but many people said they didn’t have letter boxes at Golden Beach or Facebook accounts.

The association will seek help from Wellington Shire Council about helping to send letters to people, using ratepayers’ information.

CarbonNet is a state and federal project, and not a Wellington Shire Council project.

The project’s director, Ian Filby, said there was an appetite for more information.

“That’s why we’re here today, to make sure everyone in the community has the facts and the right information about our project, and the seismic survey,” he said.

He said communications had included a briefing to the council and approaching the ratepayers’ association, fishing competition organisers and surf life saving club, but admitted “we can all learn and we’ll do a better job next time”.

Ms O’Sullivan said people were angry because they hadn’t been well informed.

“This is a state and federal government issue, they have resources, and they’ve left it up to a 10-person committee to get that information out to people,” she said.

“There’s a bigger picture here, and there should have been other resources used, not a volunteer committee, or any other community group in town, left responsible to inform the residents of this town.”

The Ratepayers Association CarbonNet subcommittee will meet at 7pm on Feburary 7 at the Veronica Maybury Memorial Recreation Reserve, and all are welcome to attend.

Marine seismic surveying is expected to begin in mid-February.