The recent local government conference in Nowra demonstrated that councils from all over the state, and from all political viewpoints, unanimously support the call for a moratorium on CSG mining and exploration. Every CSG motion at the conference was passed without opposition.
So we need to ask why both the NSW and Qld governments are refusing to listen to the people? Why can’t they do what the people are demanding and press the pause button on CSG approvals? Why do these two governments want to deny farmers the right to protect their land and livelihoods?
I find it totally outrageous that any state government could sell mining rights for an exploitative business that may destroy some of our best farming land. And don’t they realise they are alienating rural people and destroying rural communities in the process?
The evidence is clear that once aquifers and water supplies become contaminated there is no going back. Once a gas field is up and running, with the associated infrastructure, noise and pollution, there will be no prospect of restoring the status quo.
Depending on which government department you speak to, between 49 per cent and 67 per cent of NSW is currently subject to some form of mining or exploration licence, including most of the Northern Rivers. It seems that we Australians, and our collective future, may have already been sold out.
The future we should be planning for would have solar farms in the desert instead of gas fields covering the farming land where strong rural communities used to be. It’s time to draw a line in the sand and Lock the Gate.
Cr Jeff Johnson