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To win back the bush, new Premier must protect us from mining and Nationals must use leadership change to start standing up for rural communities

Lock the Gate Alliance has welcomed the election of Gladys Berejiklian as leader of the Liberal Party and Premier of New South Wales and is calling on her to restore balance to the bush by making laws this year to protect farmland, drinking water catchments and communities from coal and gas mining.

Lock the Gate Alliance NSW Coordinator, Georgina Woods said, “Rural communities have been left to fight against big coal and gas without the support of the O’Farrell or Baird governments, including the Nationals who are supposed to represent these communities.

“We’re calling on the new Premier to restore balance and win back the confidence of the bush by protecting farmland and water resources.

“We’re also calling on the Nationals to start standing up for regional communities against coal and gas in their negotiations with the new Premier.

“With an election coming in two years’ time, Gladys Berejiklian can send an early message to the people of Upper Hunter, Goulburn, the Northern Rivers and North West that good farmland and precious water resources are not going to be taken for granted and sacrificed for coal and gas.

“On the coast, Sydney’s own drinking water, and the drinking water of the Central Coast is under threat from coal mining and neither is protected from coal seam gas.

“First on the agenda must be laws to prohibit mining in our best farmland, in our drinking water catchments and next to towns and homes.

“Coal and gas mining conflict have dogged the Coalition under Barry O’Farrell and Mike Baird because neither has had the steel to look the mining industry in the eye and hold fast to the public interest.

“With her experience as Treasurer, Gladys Berejiklian can bring balance to NSW’s approach to mining. The numbers don’t add up when you’re destroying farmland and drinking water for coal and gas. It’s high time the Government remembered that.”

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