Opponents of coal seam gas exploration are set to hold a demonstration outside an energy forum in Armidale tomorrow morning.
A invitation-only forum will be held at Moore Park Inn on Friday, featuring coal seam gas suppliers and State Energy Minister Chris Hartcher.
But protesters have vowed to hold what they call a 'real energy forum' outside the venue starting at 8.30am.
Local Liberal MLC Scot MacDonald has said previously that the forum would focus on energy opportunities for the region, rather than planning or environmental factors.
However, according to Armidale Action on Coal Seam Gas spokesperson Carmel Flint , it is not possible to hold a meaningful energy forum that ignores the risks that coal seam gas mining poses to farm production, public health, communities and the environment.
"So we'll be discussing those issues at the forum outside," she said.
Solar Energy Industries Association NSW chapter chairman Geoff Bragg said new research released this week showed renewable energy sources such as solar are due to become the cheapest energy sources within the next 10 years.
"Therefore, it is impossible to have a credible energy forum in Armidale that does not fully canvass renewable energy," he said.
"The New England community overwhelmingly want clean and renewable energy," Starfish Enterprises executive director Adam Blakester said. "Our large surveys have indicated almost no support for gas and there is a strong desire to move beyond coal.
"The Energy Forum is out of touch with the community and economic reality."