Maddy Braddon, Lismore
Regional NSW has been having a tough time. If it’s not drought, it’s floods, fires and storms. These disasters are fuelled by the fossil-fuel industry. Coal and gas companies hit communities while they’re down. They opportunistically jump in and offer a handful of jobs and short-term prosperity. This is not future proofing regional Australia; it’s putting communities, farmland and water at risk.
The Narrabri gas project is an example of this kind of backwards thinking by big mining corporations and governments. As a young person (23), I’m extremely concerned about this short sightedness. A recent report found that jobs from renewable-energy investment in the northwest of NSW are entirely possible.
Narrabri is part of the New England Renewable Energy Precinct, set up to attract new investment. There are currently two solar projects proposed. If these and other renewable projects went ahead there would be a reason to stay in rural and regional towns.
We know that fossil fuels are outdated and causing far more harm than good. We are seeing benefits in the northern rivers of renewable energy. I wonder, will our decision makers do what is best for regional NSW by ruling out the Narrabri Gas Project and help create jobs powered by renewable-energy innovation?