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First big victory to Lock the Gate

The decision by coal mining company NuCoal to abandon plans to mine on the property of blind Hunter Valley farmer, Ian Moore, is the first major victory for the Lock the Gate campaign.

Mr Moore had locked his gate on the company Doyles Creeks Mining which was later purchased by NuCoal. The company then took Mr Moore to a government-appointed arbitrator who upheld the company's right to drill on the property.

Mr Moore then appealed to the Land and Environment Court which imposed much tougher restrictions on NuCoal but still upheld their right to enter the property.

Lock the Gate president, Drew Hutton, said the campaign that was fought around Ian Moore's case and the enormous public sympathy for his plight resulted in today's annoncement by the company.

"The people of the hunter Valley and in Australia generally have cried 'enough' with regard to mining on good agricultural land," Mr Hutton said.

"We must stop this madness now.

"There must be a moratorium on all new coal mines and on all coal seam gas development until governments and the Australian people can make considered judgments on whether they want this resources boom to engulf our precious long-term natural resources and our iconic environmental areas all in the name of the short-term dollar.

"Until that happens our campaign will contine. Lanadowners will lock the gate on resource companies trying to enter their properties and, if they attempt to enter communities where they are not welcome, we will block the gate," Mr Hutton said.

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