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Byron Shire
February 28, 2021

Thirty lunchers at pop-up picnic outside office of Thomas George

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Everyone enjoyed their pop-up picnic lunch in Lismore. Photo Annie Kia.

Community members held a pop-up picnic outside the office of Lismore MP Thomas George today – amidst the picnic tables and lamingtons, citizens had a serious intent – to ask Thomas George to cast his vote in the People’s Referendum on Coal and Gas.

As Mr George was unavailable, ballot forms were left for him and his staff. 

The picnic is one of 10 across New South Wales this week, part of a series of actions in the #Time2Choose campaign to restore balance and protect NSW people, landscapes and water from coal expansions and gasfields. 

Spokesperson for Gasfield Free Northern Rivers said that the scale of coal expansion in NSW is staggering. ‘Taken together, 11 coal expansions are bigger than the Adani mine in terms of land, water and emissions,’ said Ms Kia at the picnic. ‘Precious farmlands are threatened by new coal mines in the Bylong valley, Southern Highlands and the Liverpool Plains.

‘In addition, underground coal mines are cracking and draining stream beds at a time of extreme water scarcity.

 ‘We are equally concerned about the NSW Northwest where the Narrabri CSG project plans to drill through a recharge zone of the Great Artesian Basin, and the entire region is threatened by spreading gasfields.’

Today’s action is part of a broader campaign to restore sanity on coal and gas in NSW, asking all political parties to support a 12-point vision for change.

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