Farmers and landholders in the northern rivers are calling on federal and state ministers attending Friday’s COAG Energy Council meeting to give them the right to say ‘no’ to mining.
Federal energy minister Josh Frydenberg has told media he would put mining and land access on the agenda at the meeting.
Kyogle grazier Peter Stackhouse said it was vital for the meeting to give farmers, landholders and traditional owners the power to refuse mining companies access.
‘Our fight to remain Gasfield Free has been long and hard and now our farmers and traditional owners deserve long term protection, they deserve the right to say no,’ Mr Stackhouse said.
‘It is time for the buck-passing and bullying to end, and for our governments to legislate to give all landholders and communities a veto over mining that threatens our land, our water and way of life,’ he said.
‘Individuals and communities across Australia have experienced severe distress due to the laws being weighted so heavily in favor of multi-national mining corporations that they can legally force access to land without consent.
‘All governments across Australia need to act now to end this special treatment for mining giants and to give us the basic right to a fair go and a real say over whether miners are allowed access’
‘The bullying and harassment of landholders and traditional owners by mining corporations needs to end now.
‘Governments need to prevent any further harm to rural and regional families.
‘We are asking that all governments:
- Reach an agreement at COAG to legislate the legal right for landholders and traditional owners to say ‘no’ to access by coal and unconventional gas mining companies.
- Provide state and territory governments six months to deliver legislative changes to that effect, and if they are not forthcoming, create national legislation using relevant powers.
- Immediately commission an inquiry by the ACCC, using powers it already has, to investigate whether the unconventional gas industry have engaged in unconscionable conduct in their dealings with landholders,’ Mr Stackhouse said..