by Peter Wonfor
On the 27th of October 2013, the community of Harmers Haven declared itself Coal Seam Gas Free.
The declaration, officially made by local resident John Old, was based on the results of a survey carried out over several months.
Harmers Haven is located a few km from Wonthaggi on the Bass Coast and the declaration was held at a location overlooking spectacular ocean views. After weeks of rain and unsettled weather the sun shone and the wind dropped to make it a very pleasant afternoon.
To get this status, a survey of residences was conducted by townspeople, asking the question ‘Do you want your community to be Coal Seam Gas Free?’
Harmers Haven has a number of weekender and rental properties in addition to the permanent residences, resulting in multiple survey visits being needed to ensure polling as many properties as possible. All properties were visited at least five times and flyers left if the houses were unoccupied. Of the total of 60 developed blocks, 49 (over 80%) were successfully surveyed. And of those 49 properties, 47 (or 96%) were in favour of declaring Harmers Haven Coal Seam Gas Free.
This fantastic community event was supported by representatives from Seaspray, another area that had declared itself Coal and Gas Free earlier in the year. It was also attended by Cr. Neil Rankine, Deputy Mayor of Bass Coast Shire.
Musical entertainment was provided by Bass Coast Pickers and the proceedings rounded off with a BBQ/Sausage Sizzle.
Throughout the survey, invaluable encouragement and support was received from many. However folks at CSG-Free Poowong deserve special mention, with a special Thank You to Ursula Alquier!