Lock the Gate Alliance has welcomed former Wallabies Rugby Union team captain David Pocock to its board of directors.
Chair of the national Lock the Gate board Simon Clough said he was delighted with the appointment, and pointed to Mr Pocock’s passion for sustainable agriculture and backing for farmers and traditional owners working to protect land and water.
‘Much of Australia’s farmland and environment is under threat from coal and gas exploitation. We have invited David to join the board of directors due to his tenacity for helping protect these special places,’ said Mr Clough.
Originally from Zimbabwe, where he set up the Rangelands Restoration Trust, David Pocock retired from rugby two months ago.
Unlike most sporting figures, he has also been an outspoken activist for much of his career.
He was among those arrested six years ago when he chained himself to a digger at the Maules Creek coal mine, north of Tamworth in NSW.
Mr Pocock and his wife Emma Palandri also founded the organisation FrontRunners, which encourages athletes to tackle climate and environmental issues.
Wallabies great steps up to new role
David Pocock said, ‘Lock the Gate Alliance has helped build a grassroots movement to support regional communities as they stand up against coal and gas projects that threaten their natural, cultural and agricultural resources.
‘I have been inspired by their work and look forward to joining the board and finding ways to contribute.
‘At a time of so much change across the country, it’s more important than ever that we invest in the future, ensuring the benefits are felt in regional communities,’ said Mr Pocock.
‘It’s increasingly clear that the risks coal and gas developments pose to farmland, sacred sites, our climate and environment are not worth it – coal and gas have had their day. We need to make bolder, smarter choices that build a better future for rural Australia.’
In the past, Mr Pocock has used his profile to lend weight to protests outside Parliament House in Canberra for the same-sex marriage movement, and also against Adani.
While there has been speculation that he might consider a political role in the future, Mr Pocock has said that while he thinks politics is incredibly important, ‘You can be involved in politics and not be a politician.’