International environmental award for Hunter Valley farmer Wendy Bowman spotlights coal mining damage

Published: April 24, 2017

Lock the Gate Alliance has congratulated Hunter Valley farmer Wendy Bowman on receiving the international Goldman Environmental Prize in recognition of her success protecting her home and community from Yancoal's South East Open Cut mine.

Lock the Gate Alliance spokesperson Georgina Woods said, "We are thrilled that Wendy's extraordinary contribution to the Hunter Valley has been recognised with this hugely influential award.

"It is well deserved and will bring equally deserved attention to the struggle to restore balance in the Hunter Valley of which Wendy has been so long a champion.

"Wendy’s court victory against mining company Yancoal has shown that farming champions can prevail and protect farmland from coal mines.

"Her success has laid down a challenge to the NSW Government to reset its priorities. There are plenty of coal mines in the Hunter, but rich alluvial farmland can't be replaced and nor can communities.

"Wendy has not only drawn a line in the sand to protect her own place, she is a tirelessly generous matriarch of the Hunter Valley community who supports other communities that find themselves in the path of destructive coal mines.

"People in the Hunter should no longer be forced to accept coal mines pushing them off their land or destroying their lives with unbearable noise and dust.

"We are calling for the NSW government to take the message sent by this award seriously, and puts a stop to the ongoing loss of farmland, rural villages and community well-being to coal mining. They must act now to restore balance” she said.

Further information about Wendy’s prize, the reasons she has been recognised and video and photo resources are available from the Goldman Prize: http://www.goldmanprize.org/pressroom/2017-press-resources/

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