In a David and Goliath battle, Northwest NSW farmers are begging for help to save Australia’s food bowl from the CSG juggernaut.
Many farmers have added their name to this letter, that asks for supporters to lobby the National Party against the Narrabri gas project, saying that ‘only the National Party so far refuses to act’.
Penned by farmer Margaret Fleck, the letter starts:
‘We are farmers in Northwest NSW who need help.
‘For 10 years we’ve fought the Santos gasfield that threatens a recharge zone for the Great Artesian Basin,’ says Ms Fleck. We don’t want invasive gasfields spreading from Quirindi to Coonamble, and from Gilgandra to Moree.
‘Our communities are united: 105 communities have declared themselves Gasfield Free, with 96% agreement.’
‘The Santos Narrabri Project plans to drill 850 coal seam gas wells straight through a critical recharge area of the Great Artesian Basin, threatening this vital water source for communities, agriculture and ecosystems across 22 per cent of inland Australia.
‘In response to the company’s EIS, a record 23,000 submissions received and all but about 300 were against Pilliga CSG mining.
‘Twenty-three thousand people wrote submissions to the Environmental Impact Statement’, says Ms Fleck in the letter.
‘We’ve done everything in our power to stop Santos’ gasfield – rallies, surveys, convoys to Sydney, some of us even risked arrest to stop the drilling.
‘The Government will not listen. The National Party is deaf to us and to the majority of people in Narrabri who do not want this coal seam gasfield.’
Ms Fleck says that as we approach the NSW election, Country Labor, Greens, Independent and SFF have all pledged to stop the Narrabri gas project.
‘Only the National Party so far refuses to act.’
‘Members of the North West Alliance met with their candidate here in Barwon but the Party continues to refuse to take a strong stand.
‘Northern Rivers communities resisted gasfields and won. We thank you for the inspiration you’ve provided!
‘We write now to ask for your support. Please raise your voice and write to or call your local Nationals candidate to stop the Narrabri gasfield.’, the letter concludes.
Signatures on the letter include those of David Chadwick, Sally Hunter, Alistair Donaldson, Anne Kennedy, Peter Wills, Sarah Ciesiolka, Phil Herbert, Nicola Chirlian, Stuart Murray, Jan Robertson, Robyn King, Tom Anderton, Rosemary Nankivell and Tambar Springs farmer David Quince who is running for a seat in the Upper House with Jeremy Buckingham in Group L, in the New South Wales state election.
For more about the fight for the Pilliga – watch Sacrifice Zone