Sixty farmers and community members from across NSW and QLD have travelled to the Santos gas drilling operations in the Pilliga forest southwest of Narrabri to support two grandmothers that have taken part in the protest to protect groundwater.
Two grandmothers, Anne and Sharyn, joined the 60-strong protest to stop Santos' gas drilling operations. Other farmers and concerned community members who live just east of the forest took part, calling for the protection of water resources and for Santos to leave the region.
Grandmother Anne Kennedy of Coonamble said, “I am working to protect our water resources for the future of my grandchildren.
“The Pilliga is such an important region for recharging the Great Artesian Basin. I know I have the support of my family and community in trying to stop this dangerous coal seam gas industrialisation of the Pilliga and the North West. Drilling should be stopped in this important water catchment until at least the time when The Chief Scientist has completed her investigations into the risks of CSG.”
Sharyn Munro said, “Grandmothers like us are being forced to take action due to the threat of coal and gasfield industrialisation across Australia. So many areas of our beautiful country will be unliveable if we do not defend and protect them.”
Farmer Megan Kuhn said, “People from across the North West and across NSW have overwhelmingly rejected any plan or proposal to mine, drill or frack for coal seam gas in their area or on our best farmlands. Our communities stand united and motivated to protect our sustainable land-use and water resources from invasive industrial gasfields for current and future generations. We will won’t be ignored or dismissed.
Local farmer and Rural Fire Service volunteer Alistair Donaldson said, “The fire risk out here on the Santos drill site is a nightmare and is putting workers at risk. The properties of local families and the safely of the drillers should come before this push to drill and flare methane gas here in this highly bushfire prone area."