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Listen to Launceston's Tamar River mud problem, and why Newcastle is against PEP 11 gas rigs

Launceston stuck in the mud

Launceston is one of Australia's oldest and most picturesque regional cities, set in a compact valley with steep hills looking down on the Tamar River.

Before colonisation, the upper Tamar was a shimmering patchwork of mangroves and mud flats.

Launceston property developer Errorl Stewart wants a solution to the Tamar's mud problem. Picture: Phillip Biggs

Launceston property developer Errorl Stewart wants a solution to the Tamar's mud problem. Picture: Phillip Biggs

But for decades since, the mud was dredged and raked, clearing the way for boating and watersports.

But that stopped in 2019 due to environmental concerns and the mud is building up again.

I think everybody in the city has got a reasonable expectation that the river should be in better condition.

Errol Stewart, property developer

A public campaign is demanding authorities "fix the mud". But is it that simple?

The Tamar River has historicalled had mud and sediment build up in the estuary. Picture: Will Swan

The Tamar River has historicalled had mud and sediment build up in the estuary. Picture: Will Swan

Concern over PEP 11 gas exploration licence

Gas has been touted as key to lifting the country out of pandemic recession and as a future energy source as we transition away from coal.

But there's a lot of concern on the NSW coast about a gas exploration licence known as PEP 11.

Newcastle resident Rachael Scott is worried gas drilling will destroy the coast she loves. Picture: Fleur Connick

Newcastle resident Rachael Scott is worried gas drilling will destroy the coast she loves. Picture: Fleur Connick

PEP 11 expired in February but the permit owner, Advent Energy has applied for an extension and permission to commence drilling as soon as possible.

It comes after the 2020 Budget revealed over 50 million dollars will be spent on investments and developments for the gas industry.

Critics are fearful that the environment and lifestyle off Australia's most densely populated stretch of coastline could be in danger.

I'm incredibly frustrated because the alternatives are there and other countries overseas are pursuing greener, more renewable energy and green recovery policies.

Rachael Scott, Environmental scientist and Newcastle local

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This story Why this Australian city is stuck in the mud first appeared on Newcastle Herald.