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Minerals Council campaign insults drought-affected farmers

The NSW Minerals Council’s latest campaign attempting to discredit a recent decision by the Independent Planning Commission is an insult to farmers who are battling the drought, according to Lock the Gate Alliance.

The IPC recently ruled a controversial and destructive coal mine planned for the Bylong Valley should be rejected due to unacceptable impacts on groundwater, strategic agricultural land, and the heritage values of the Bylong Valley. 

Phillip Kennedy, Bylong Valley farmer, said: "It is obscene that the NSW Minerals Council is running a campaign like this during an intense drought which doesn't look like ending any time soon.

"There are whole towns running out of water.
"Feed is so scarce right now - we need to conserve the land and water we have so we can grow fodder.
"We cannot sustain both vitally important agriculture and a dirty great big coal mine. 
"We've got the equivalent of a little bathtub in the Bylong Valley, not the Great Artesian Basin. The NSW Minerals Council has no idea - Bylong is a unique, small valley and it is ridiculous for anyone to think a mine won't impact the water and farmland here."
Lock the Gate Alliance spokesperson, Georgina Woods: "The Minerals Council is out of touch with the priorities of drought affected regions attempting to safeguard water resources. There's no future for regional NSW if we sacrifice precious water resources for the sake of a short term mining grab.

"That's what the Independent Planning Commission understood: development must provide for future generations not short change them

"It's common sense that there are some places where open cut coal mining is not appropriate and our most fertile farmland is one of them."

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