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Byron Shire
April 13, 2021

Food bowl under dire threat from mining

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I travel through the Liverpool Plains three times a year – different seasons, different climatic conditions. The expanse and productivity of this amazing food bowl and its significance as one of the most important productive agricultural regions in Australia is irrefutable. This food bowl substantially contributes to our economy and its provision of food resources to an ever growing population is vital for human survival.

The NSW approval of a new coal mine (foreign owned) in the Liverpool Plains food bowl confirms NSW has no plan, nor does country NSW have any representation in government. Economic considerations do not trump all – prosperity is a much deeper and richer concept than the profitability of individual enterprises.

Foreign companies have no connection or any commitment to our land or our communities – the people.

Our farmers are on the land every day, every week, all year, with many families for generations – they know and understand the land and our priceless water resources. Mining is short-term and extremely short sighted when allowing open cut coal mining in a food bowl of such enormous worth.

There is a huge conflict of interest with the state being the assessment/approval/compliance authority of mining when they take political donations from mining companies and the state is the beneficiary of royalties – easy money for lazy governments putting all their eggs in the 1 basket.

The independence and scientific expertise in our government is being rapidly eroded with reforms shifting the provision of our public service as a safeguard of the public interest against vested interests with political decisions.

The business sense of new coal mines has to be queried when others are closing/cutting back due to the coal glut and globally the impacts of fossil fuel are beginning to be heeded and there is a shift to more of a direction to renewable energy around the world. Sense would be to allow existing mines to continue to be viable.

The people of NSW (employers of government/elected representatives) are entitled to (and deserve) governments that transcends political cycles (elections) and governs under the principles of inter-generational equity ensuring that the health, diversity and productivity of the environment is maintained or enhanced for future generations.

Lindy Smith, Tweed Heads

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