Thousands of people from across New South Wales rallied outside Parliament House today, demonstrating the strength of community concern about the destruction of rivers, forests and farmland and pollution of air and water by the rapidly expanding mining and coal seam gas industry.
The Government cannot afford to ignore this powerful message, according to the Nature Conservation Council of NSW.
“Thousands of community members have taken to the streets today to demand stronger protection for natural areas, water resources, farmland and local communities”, NCC CEO Pepe Clarke said.
“Many of the people at the rally have had direct experience of the impact of mining or coal seam gas exploration on their land or in their local community.
“Together, they delivered a message to the NSW Government loud and clear that they do not want precious environmental and agricultural areas of our state handed over to mining and gas companies.”
Mr Clarke said the rally represented a range of interests across the state from farmers to environmentalists, to local mums and dads concerned about the future of their environment.
“These are people from all walks of life, people who care about our iconic natural areas, public health and productive farmland. These are people who drink the water that is threatened, breathe the air that is polluted and vote out the politicians who don’t listen to their concerns,” he said.
“The NSW Government must end the bulldozing of public state forests to make way for open cut coal mines. Our natural assets should be protected for the benefit of the whole community, not privatised for the profits of miners,” said Mr Clarke.
NSW Farmers, Caroona Coal Action Group, Country Women’s Association of NSW, Hunter Thoroughbred Breeders Association, Hunter Valley Wine Industry Association, Lock the Gate Alliance, Nature Conservation Council of NSW, Southern Highlands Coal Action Group, GetUp!, Stop CSG Sydney, Stop CSG Illawarra, Sydney Food Fairness Alliance, Youth Food Movement, Save Our Water Catchment Areas, Upper Hunter Water Keepers Alliance, Australian Student Environment Network, Hunter Valley Water Users Association, Rivers SOS, SOS Liverpool Plains, Mullaley Gas and Pipeline Accord, Total Environment Centre and the Hunter Valley Protection Alliance.