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Byron Shire
March 2, 2021

Old parties sell out to mining monsters

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Last week Greens Senator Larissa Waters introduced a bill into federal parliament that, if enacted, would give farmers and other landholders the lawful right to refuse mining companies access to their property.

All nine Greens Senators voted in favour of the bill. Not one Labor, National, Liberal or independent Senator voted for it. This vital piece of legislation that would have reinforced the private property rights of all Australians was therefore soundly defeated.

Two days later the media reported that CSG driller Santos had been proven to have poisoned an aquifer in the NSW Pilliga forest with uranium (at 20 times safe drinking water levels) as well as arsenic, lead, aluminium, nickel, barium and boron.

Apparently Santos were aware of this disaster for over a year before the public was informed. This amounts to a crime against all the people of this nation – Australia’s underground water is our main ‘insurance policy’ against the effects of a heating planet. Yet the penalty imposed by the NSW Environmental Protection Authority on Santos for this unforgivable and irremediable act is a $1500 fine.

While this farce was happening the O’Farrell coalition government rewarded the wrongdoers by signing an agreement to speed up Santos’ further and much more widespread destruction of the Pilliga.

All the old political parties have not only sold us out to the mining monsters but they defy our demands at every opportunity. Our water, land, health and our future is offered up to the likes of Santos and Metgasco to be abused and destroyed so the already rich and powerful can make further profits. Surely it is time to say enough is enough.

Every Australian now needs to get off the fence and stand up. People power in huge numbers on the ground is all we have left. March in Lismore on March 15 to show your dissatisfaction with Abbott. Then get out to the Pilliga and stand up to the CSG industry face to face. And at all future elections vote in your own best interest by abandoning the Nationals, Liberals and Labor, just as they have abandoned us.

Bruce McQueen, Mt Burrell

 


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