A newly-formed advocacy group for landholders, Landholders ASCERT, has teamed up with community group, Bridging the Divide to host a symposium to help Darling Downs’ locals continue the fight against coal seam gas (CSG).
The symposium, to be held at Chinchilla on February 28, is open to anyone who would like to learn more about the realities of living in a gasfield and how to fight back. Speakers will include Lock the Gate’s Drew Hutton, Dr Geralyn McCarron on health impacts and Rev. Graham Slaughter on social issues.
Event organiser, Shay Dougall said locals were “extremely concerned” about the health impacts of csg and that people were leaving the region because they couldn’t live with the side effects and the uncertainties.
“Coal seam gas was an important election issue and we want whoever gains power to know we are ready to fight for our rights against this invasive mining,” she said. “Those who attend the symposium will gain a toolbox of skills from the powerful line up of expert speakers that they can take with them back to the front line.
“Individuals and groups will also have the opportunity to network and share information and experiences.
“Working within small groups can be lonely and daunting so we want to bring everyone together at the symposium for a day to let everyone know they have lots of support.”
Bridging the Divide coordinator and event host, Annette Hutchins says she has run a similar symposium in Brisbane.
“I’m very excited about being involved in this event in the heartland of csg territory to focus on grassroots urban-rural communication, networking, advocacy and support,” she said.
“The event will help establish and maintain communications and support networks linking rural and regional people to urban-based Australians around issues of health and social justice and the need to fight for sustainability.”