This weekend, hundreds of people are expected to descend on Breeza on the Liverpool Plains in the first large scale gathering at the site of the proposed Shenhua Watermark coal mine. The event has been called by the Liverpool Plains Youth, and is supported by many other local groups and national environment organisations.
The "Harvest Festival against Shenhua" is a family friendly weekend involving talks from community and political leaders, a traditional dance performance by local Gomeroi people, a farm machinery display, art and photography workshops, live music in the evenings and a bush dance on Saturday night! Meals and snacks, plus real coffee and homemade gelato will be available for purchase from the 'Pilliga Pottery' caterers, and local stallholders will be selling crafts and arts.
Andrew Pursehouse of 'Breeza Station' neighbours the Shenhua mine site, and is hosting the event. "My family and I are honoured to host such an historic event. We’ve been battling this mine for so many years and it’s great to now welcome hundreds of diverse supporters to our local area to join us in this fight."
"It’s a busy time of the year for farmers to leave their farms due to harvesting of winter crops and sowing of summer crops. We are encouraging locals both from farms and towns to make the effort and attend. Some program highlights are packed in from lunch 12.30pm on Saturday; the plenary at 1.30pm, through the other programmed activities of the afternoon and the evening bush dance and live music. We’re particularly excited to welcome country star Luke Vasella to play on Saturday night."
"We need local people to demonstrate their appreciation and involvement in this campaign to our supporters, many who will travel hundreds of kilometres to get here. We’ll build the movement against this mine through building momentum and numbers. Turning up this weekend is an important step towards this."
Speaking at the event will be Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham, former MP for New England Tony Windsor, Director of Energy Finance Studies at the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis Tim Buckley, Federal Senator Jackie Lambie, Vice President of the National Farmers Federation Fiona Simpson, event host Andrew Pursehouse, local ecologists, and others.
Festival goers will be entertained by local soloist Sarah Leete, country star Luke Vasella, Steel City Su and the Bushies Bushdance band with Gary Roberts dance caller and country-rock band Mick Daley and the Corporate Raiders. There will be a jumping castle and kids activities during the day on Saturday.