A delegation of church Ministers, Manly Knitting Nannas and local Lock the Gate supporters will deliver an open letter signed by over 7,000 people to Mike Baird’s electorate office on Monday morning, demanding action from the Premier to stop damage and conflict caused by coal mining expansions.
Over 7,000 people, including primary producers, business people and bishops signed an open letter last year calling on the Premier to act to protect farmland, water resources and rural villages from destruction by coal mining, but the Premier has yet to act.
Lock the Gate Alliance spokesperson, Nic Clyde, said, “The urgency of the problem has prompted this personal visit to the Premier’s office in Manly to deliver this letter. There are more and more coal mines being approved that will rip up farmland, undermine drinking water catchments and divide and destroy rural communities.
Chief among the demands in the letter is the protection of farmland, water and precious bushland from further mining, but the letter also demands the return of fairness and balance in consideration of mining applications.
John Buchanan a Minister in the Presbyterian Church said, "I don’t believe it’s neighbourly that our use of ‘dirty’ coal causes people to suffer ill-health. It is fuelling global warming, increasing the intensity of storms and fires and swamping our Pacific neighbours, and this is wrong. It’s wrong to hand a polluted world over to our children, and it’s not good stewardship to allow this destructive industry to kill eco-systems. God has given us clean fresh alternatives, and I’m appealing to the Premier, as a fellow Christian, to intervene now.”
Manly resident and Knitting Nanna Patricia Griffen said, “We’ve seen damage from mines in Sydney’s drinking water catchment for years, but the risks now are just too great - we need the area to be absolutely off-limits to any further mining. The Premier needs to step in urgently, before any more approvals are handed out and irreparable damage is done.”
Nic Clyde concluded, “The Premier can’t afford to vacillate about coal mining any longer. His leadership is urgently needed to intervene and stop any more coal mines being approved while proper protections are put in place for our food producing lands, our water and the people suffering the immediate impacts of out-of-control coal mining.”
What: Letter delivery and small community gathering
When: 10 am Monday February 22nd
Where: NSW Premier Mike Baird’s Electoral Office, Shop 2, 2 Wentworth Street, Manly.