Guitar and heart strings will be pulled tomorrow (Jan 23) evening as a host of musicians come together to support farmers battling against the might of the coal mining industry.
As part of the 2019 Tamworth Country Music Festival, Lock the Gate Alliance and Country Music Cares have partnered to bring a rockin’ night of country music talent to the Tamworth Town Hall.
Lock the Gate Alliance spokesperson Phil Laird said it was now more important than ever to draw attention to the plight of farmers who were facing off against coal mines in their backyards.
“The Shenhua Watermark coal mine is planned to carve a massive hole right out of the Liverpool Plains, one of Australia’s greatest food bowls,” he said.
“The mine puts the productive groundwater that is the life blood of agriculture on the Liverpool Plains at risk.
“Acquisition of properties around the mine will eat away at the social fabric of the farming community - it's one of the most productive areas in NSW, famous for its black soils.
“The coal burnt from the mine will also increase the negative impacts of climate change at a time when much of NSW is in the grips of a truly catastrophic drought.
"There also remain serious questions about why the NSW Government secretly gave Shenhua $262 million for part of the company's licence area when that land was not needed by the mine.
“This project, and others like Whitehaven’s planned Vickery coal mine expansion near Gunnedah, are happening in the communities of people who will be attending this festival.
“Not only is this an opportunity to raise funds for the fight, it’s also an opportunity for community members to come together to share their stories of adversity, and heal.”
The concert is a fixture at the Tamworth Country Music Festival and will feature 19 individual acts that include the winners of 23 Golden Guitars.
Artists performing on the night include Dean Perrett, Jen Mize, Andrew Swift, Greta Ziller, Drew McAlister, Matt Scullion, Hayley Jensen, April Family, Bushwackers, Paul Robert Burton, Kristy Cox, Travis List, Pat Drummond, Pixie Jenkins, Allan Caswell, Ainslie Allen, Hannah Aldridge, Weeping Willows, Lachlan Bryan and the Wildes, and Chad Morgan. The MC is Cameron Syrett.
All profits will go to the Lock the Gate Alliance.
Local farmer John Hamparsum will also speak to the crowd about the community’s frustration with the Shenhua Watermark coal mine.
The show kicks off at 7pm at the Tamworth Town Hall on Wednesday January 23.