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Byron Shire
March 3, 2021

Major parties betraying communities on CSG

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How can the Liberal and National parties claim they represent rural communities when they ignore regional concerns regarding open-cut mining and CSG drilling?

Prior to the last state election Barry O’Farrell and other Liberal-National coalition campaigners wore ‘Water not Coal’ t-shirts, but reneged on many promises after obtaining office.

Three MPs of six photographed in those shirts are now being investigated by ICAC, partly regarding transactions with coal mining companies.

The Liberal and National parties have no regard for farmers and rural residents, but are doing everything to assist and fast-track the mining industry, even modifying legislation to defeat NSW citizens, as occurred with Rio Tinto vs residents of Bulga.

There are vast numbers of ‘local’ residents rallying against CSG and open-cut mines, and they include residents of Narrabri, Maules Creek and Boggabri, Wee Waa, Mullaley, Pilliga, Coonamble, Liverpool Plains, Gunnedah and all areas between.

However, all Australians are entitled to protest the destruction of the Leard and Pilliga Forests (including vulnerable fauna), our prime and arable farmland, the Great Artesian Basin (Pilliga is located on the eastern recharge zone), other aquifers and the Great Barrier Reef (Santos pipeline to be connected to the Gladstone Curtis Island CSG plant).

Unlike the Liberal-National parties, we feel a responsibility to our country and all people and creatures that will inhabit it in the years and centuries ahead.

It is a disgrace that the Liberal, National and Labor parties are almost totally locked into turning Australia into a huge quarry in a short-term fix to exploit our environment for the benefit of a minority of Australian and overseas interests, while ignoring the benefits of alternate renewable energies.

A prime example is the opportunity of replacing obsolete power stations in Port Augusta with thermal collector solar power.

Countries such as Spain, USA, Emirates and Chile have the foresight to proceed with this clean power.

In Australia we have too many people affected by the carcinogenic effects of coal dust from mines, rail and road transport, power stations and ports.

The current fire in the coal mine in Victoria’s Latrobe Valley is a disgusting example of cost cutting at the expense of the local population.

Both the state government and French-owned coal company should be held accountable for this disaster.

How unfortunate that Australia is following the worst practices of the USA in the destruction of valuable water and land resources.

Ken Brown, Invergowrie

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