Vigils to be held for Qld anti-CSG farmer

Vigils will be held for George Bender, a Queensland farmer who took his own life after battling against the coal seam gas industry. (Lock the Gate)

Vigils will be held for George Bender, a Queensland farmer who took his own life after battling against the coal seam gas industry. (Lock the Gate)

Vigils are set to be held across three states for a farmer who took his own life following a lengthy crusade against the coal seam gas industry.

Gatherings will take place concurrently in Brisbane, Adelaide and Melbourne on Thursday at 4.30pm (AEST) following the death of Chinchilla cotton farmer George Bender last week.

Drew Hutton, spokesman for Lock the Gate Alliance, says Mr Bender, whose bore water had been impacted by CSG activities, had showed extraordinary courage in his bid to defend his community at Hopeland.

He says the vigils are being held to honour Mr Bender “and to say never again”.

‘Never again should CSG companies be allowed to coerce and intimidate farmers and to drag them through the courts,’ Mr Hutton said in a statement.

‘Never again should communities be left with nowhere to turn when their dealings with gas companies become unbearable.’

The Lock the Gate Alliance has written to Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk outlining their “CSG crisis action plan” which they say will reduce the suffering caused by the CSG industry.

Mr Bender’s death has sparked calls for an inquiry into the human impacts of CSG, while Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has also promised to investigate the circumstances surrounding the tragedy.

The Brisbane vigil will be held outside the premier’s office and others will take place at the Origin Energy offices in Melbourne and Adelaide.

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