Farmers Protest National Party MPs, Demand Action After CSG Water Contamination

Published: March 13, 2014

Protests are being held today outside the offices of National Party MPs for Tamworth, Dubbo, Grafton and Lismore as locals from across northern NSW call for action to protect water supplies and farmland from CSG mining following groundwater contamination in the Pilliga.

In north-west NSW, farmers are calling on MPs Kevin Anderson and Troy Grant to support the “Narrabri Resolution” – a unanimous motion against CSG mining in the North West, adopted during a meeting of over 600 people in Narrabri last month.

Mary’s Mount farmer, Phil Herbert, is in Tamworth, at the office of Kevin Anderson, and said, “Our National Party MPs have been missing in action for the last three years, but it's past time for them to take a stand for their voters and reject the Narrabri CSG project.  Our water supplies and farm businesses are at risk.

"We're here today because we've had a gutful of a rotten mining approvals process that threatens our livelihoods - we want political donations from CSG companies banned and an end to sweetheart deals to fast-track their assessment processes" he said.

Coonamble farmer, Anne Kennedy is at Troy Grant’s Dubbo office and said, “We want the National Party to heed the concerns of their constituents following the contamination of groundwater in the Pilliga, and take action now to protect our region’s water and make sure this never happens again.

"We're here today to ask Troy Grant to give us a clear response - where does he stand on CSG? We'll be settling in outside his office today until he assures us that he will stand up for farmers and protect our interests against multi-national mining companies” she said.

Jan Bryan is in Tamworth and said, “It’s not right that people have to protest and get arrested to protect their livelihoods, but it’s a reflection of how profoundly we have been let down by the NSW Government. They need to know that we are not going to stand by and let them turn our region into a giant industrial gas refinery” she said.

Lynette Eggins is in Grafton and said, "Our community has exhausted all avenues on this issue, we have written submissions, obtained expert scientific advice and consulted widely, but the National Party still isn't listening. We're asking them to come out today and back their constituents" she said.

Dr Effie Ablett from Lismore said "There is an enormous groundswell of support building to protect our homes from invasive gasfields - as shown by 850 people at a public meeting in Lismore this week. We're taking this action today to ask the National Party to finally get on board."

Tamworth, Dubbo and Grafton protests are underway now, Lismore protest is taking place at 2.00pm this afternoon.

View the Narrabri Resolution here: http://www.lockthegate.org.au/narrabri_resolution 

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