The overwhelming majority of Australians want farmers and traditional owners to be given stronger protection against mining and gas companies having access to their land.
Federal Minister Josh Frydenberg said he'd put the issue of a farmers right to say 'no' on the agenda of the next meeting of COAG Mining and Energy Ministers – and the community has sent a clear message of what it wants achieved. The COAG meeting will be held today, 4 December.
A national poll of 1086 Australians found:
- 81% want farmers and Indigenous Traditional Owners to have the legal right to refuse mining and gas companies access to their land;
- 76% want a national investigation into the types of tactics that have been used by mining and gas companies to gain entry to people’s land; and
- 68% urge the Federal Government intervene and create national laws if State and Territory governments won’t give landholders and Traditional Owners the legal right to refuse access to mining companies.
Lock the Gate National Coordinator Phil Laird said farmers, landholders and traditional landholders need action and expect the Federal Government to negotiate a genuine right to say ‘no’ for them on Friday.
"The community is increasingly frustrated at the lack of action from Federal and state Governments on their rights to say no to mining," he said.
"Our political leaders must do more to protect people from the worst excesses of the mining and gas industries, and they must do it now."
"We’re not interested in more rhetoric about ‘moral rights’ or ‘voluntary agreements’ – the only lasting solution to this issue is to enact protections in law that end the bullying and harassment by multi-national mining corporations.
"We want a statement from the government that land holders and traditional owners should have a genuine legal veto as to who comes on their land.
"The futures of people’s land, their farms and their communities hang in the balance. We can’t afford another talk fest on Friday where Ministers talk a good game but fail to enact sensible binding solutions.”
Seventy-nine farmers, landholders and traditional owners from every state and territory across Australia recently sent a letter to Minister Frydenberg and the state ministers calling on them to give landholders the right to say ‘no’ to mining.