The Gomeroi People will hold a Food, Film and Fundraising evening in Brisbane on Friday to raise money to support their stand against mining and gas developments that threaten their lands.
Over a dinner of native delicacies, you can watch two Lock the Gate Alliance films Fractured Country and Undermining Australia. A panel comprising Gomeroi People, environmental campaigners and educators will then discuss the battle to save land sacred to the group, plus precious foodlands and water resources threatened by inappropriate mining.
The Gomeroi People are Traditional Owners of the country extending broadly from the Qld/NSW border to the Liverpool Plains region. Many regions across Queensland are also threatened with coal exploration licenses covering 53 per cent of the state.
National Coordinator of Lock the Gate Alliance, Phil Laird who will be on the panel, has first-hand experience of mining companies running roughshod over farmers and communities.
His family has been farming Maules Creek in the north-west of NSW for six generations. The 7000-hectare Leard State Forest was named after them, albeit now with a different spelling. The area boasts the largest surviving patch of the critically endangered ecosystem Box Gum Woodland on the Liverpool Plains, an agriculturally diverse food-bowl spanning more than a million hectares.
Coal exploration titles cover more than half of the entire plains area and the new Whitehaven mine will destroy 1665 hectares of the Leard State Forest.
“Farmers, Aboriginal traditional owners and environmentalists and farmers are increasingly working together to stop the scourge of the mining companies," Mr Laird said.
Last year an historic agreement - the Leard Forest Alliance and Gomeroi Traditional Owners Protection Treaty - was signed, sending a message that people would not tolerate further destruction of their country.
Friday’s event organiser, Phil Winzer said: "We need as many Gomeroi people to go from Brisbane to the forest and Liverpool Plains to highlight our connection to that country that is still so important to our people and we will stand with the local community.
“It’s completely unacceptable that Whitehaven mine has disturbed traditional burial sites, interrupted traditional ceremonial practices and destroyed sacred trees.”
He said funds raised would help pay Queenslanders’ travel costs to the forest.
WHEN: From 6pm, Feb 27
WHERE: Black Star Coffee, 44 Thomas Street West End
COST: Suggested donation $20. Pre-book tickets here: http://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/gomeroi-fund-raising-dinner-film-discussion-night-tickets-15826355054 or purchase on the night