The Lock the Gate Alliance launched its federal election campaign today by taking demands for national law reform on coal and gas mining to federal parliamentarians across Australia.
The 'Call to Country' incorporates a passionate plea for protecting Australians and the environment from the current onslaught of irresponsible mining as well as a program of legislative reform to address this issue.
Its demands challenge the often-stated assertion by both Labor and Coalition parties that the Federal Government has very limited control over the regulation of coal and coal seam gas.
Lock the Gate Alliance president Drew Hutton said many Australians did not appreciate the immensity of the scale of mining tenements in Australia.
"Our new mapping, released today, reveals that an estimated 437 million hectares of our land is covered by coal and gas licences or applications - that is more than half of Australia and an area 18 times the size of Great Britain," Mr Hutton said.
"The areas affected include our finest farmland, cultural treasures and international tourist icons - including 11 out of 16 areas mapped as Australian National Landscapes such as the Great Barrier Reef, the Kimberley, the Ningaloo coast of Western Australia, the Blue Mountains and the Flinders Ranges.
Drew Hutton and others will be holding a media conference at Parliament House in Canberra at 12pm to launch the Call to Country. At the same time, Lock the Gate members will be attaching the Call to Country to the doors of almost every federal electorate office around the country, asking them to support the policies it contains.
"The Lock the Gate movement is powerful in regions where both major parties are going to need every vote they can get and we intend to campaign very hard in these seats," Mr Hutton said.
For copies of the new mapping and the Call to Country, visit www.calltocountry.org.au