A premature attack from the NSW Minerals Council has fallen flat, with community group Lock the Gate free to continue running a television advertisement in the Hunter region urging for farmland to be protected from coal mining.
The ad, which began running on local television stations last week, calls for the productive farmland of the Hunter Valley to be protected from coal mining, protections for which the Alliance has campaigned for close to a decade.
The NSW Minerals Council accused Lock the Gate of breaching NSW electoral law by publishing the ad, but Lock the Gate referred the matter to the NSW Electoral Commission who have today said they are satisfied the ad does not constitute electoral expenditure.
Lock the Gate spokesperson Georgina Woods said, “Lock the Gate has worked with people in the Hunter Valley for years advocating for the farmland and water resources to be protected from mining.
“This ad is part of that ongoing work, which will continue for as long as there are unbalanced laws that put farmland at risk, and we are pleased that the NSW Electoral Commission has reviewed it and felt satisfied that it does not constitute electoral expenditure.
“This advertisement is not about a political party: it is about protection of farmland from coal mining and advertisements like this are needed as long as this precious asset is at risk.
“The Minerals Council attack on us has fallen flat and they would be better off spending their time policing their own member groups who frequently breach environmental laws, instead of pursuing misleading claims against farmers and communities.
“We remain committed to fully complying with all relevant laws and we only wish the mining industry would hold itself to the same standard,” she said.
The ad can be viewed here: https://vimeo.com/312445524