In a speech to the Pilliga protectors’ camp on Sunday, Lock the Gate president Drew Hutton told those fighting CSG company Santos that they were the true Australia Day heroes.
He said the turning points of history were often not apparent to the people participating in them and honoured those not sitting around a barbie drinking beer or, like so many politicians and fossil fuel miners being ‘a snout looking for a trough’ but using their bodies to protest the destruction taking place around them.
His speech followed the first official gig of The Protectors, comprising Paul Robert Burton, Luke Vassella and Davey Bob Ramsey, all fresh from performing in their own shows at Tamworth Country Music Festival.
Pilliga state forest is a unique bushland ecology under threat from coal seam gas mining by the company Santos. Surrounding farmers, traditional Gomeroi owners, the Wilderness Society, Lock the Gate, and a broad group of allies are opposing the company’s activities.