In today's *Tamworth* newspaper...
The Australia-wide highway protest against CSG was well-attended in Glen Innes, with a great crew of locals ready to let drivers know we want to protect our precious water in Australia.
Lots of honking, thumbs-up, waves and cheers from passing traffic! :)
This is the tsunami of fossil fuel mining that has swept away whole communities in the Hunter.
Under the Liberal-Nationals or Labor in government, it is coming for New England too.
In Scone, Murrurundi and Muswellbrook I’ve heard from people in the dairying and equine industries about the long-term impacts of fossil fuel mining that will continue to harm agricultural prospects in the Upper Hunter, long after the boom has gone bust.
The massive open pits and voids from fossil fuel mining have created ongoing problems with dust and water contamination.
The so-called ‘rehabilitation’ efforts to fill the voids with disrupted strata just adds to the mix of salt and toxic materials that end up dispersing through the water tables. The groundwater interaction will continue for centuries after the mines are finished.
Even the dormant Dartbrook mine is still emitting 57,000 tons of CO2 and methane a year, contributing to dangerous global warming despite being mothballed for a decade.
Knowing all this, how could any candidate contemplate opening a new fossil fuel mine anywhere in Australia, let alone New England?
The Greens have offered the only safe option for Australia’s farming future: no new coal mines, and no CSG.
None of the other candidates have offered that guarantee.
The Nationals Barnaby Joyce says he would keep new coal mines mines away from farms, and Tony Windsor says he was instrumental in bringing some of the coal mines into the Gunnedah Basin* (Paul Murray Live, 17 March 2016, 24 minute mark).
But I have never opened a coal mine, and I never will.
The Greens plan for jobs in New England includes a transition to renewable energy, sustainable agriculture, and promotion of the local livestock industry to scale up meatworks and transportation work in the region.
The local livestock industry favoured by the Greens is a much better economic and environmental option for Australia, compared to the live export regime supported by Barnaby Joyce and Tony Windsor.
To secure Australia's farming future, vote #1 Green.
Don't just take my word for it...the Australia Institute attitudes survey found that in New England 72% favour renewables, and want to stop the Liverpool Plains coal mine:
Day 30: The Minister for Agriculture has been caught napping on the latest CSG crisis to threaten New England farmers.
On Sunday in Tamworth I joined hundreds of New England residents for a World Environment Day rally against coal and coal seam gas. The Minister for Agriculture was nowhere to be seen.
While I discussed with New England farmers the Greens $175 million sustainable agriculture research package for the future of food and fibre production, the Member of New England has missed these CSG licenses right under his nose.
Years before CSG became a national issue that attracted headlines, Greens have supported farmers in their struggle against multi-billion dollar fossil fuel companies coming onto their land.
Twice now the Liberal-Nationals and Labor have refused farmers the right to say 'no' to fossil fuel companies. The Greens team in the Senate twice put these bills before Parliament, and the fossil fuel parties have twice blocked them.
As far back as 2008, Greens Senator Lee Rhiannon was the first Australian politician to stand with farmers on the Liverpool Plains against coal and coal seam gas.
Greens have maintained that commitment all along, and I will continue to support New England farmers, working alongside Senator Rhiannon and NSW Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham.
Day 25: Fun on the farm (with serious intent)
The Namoi Valley Independent gives a great wrap-up on our visit to Breeza Station, with Liverpool Plains youth representatives Sarah Sulman and Maddy Coleman (who organised that fantastic tractor protest last year!) and station owner Andrew Pursehouse.
It was also great to be joined by Parkes candidate Matt Parmeter, whose electorate covers 49% of NSW!
Oh, and Richard Di Natale :P
(plus another fantastic Tony Grant pic)
A reminder of why 'no new coal' is the correct position for Australia, and the one to vote for on July 2.
Greens position is clear -- no new coal, not in New England, not anywhere.
The Nationals, Labor and independent candidates are all prepared to open new coal mines under various 'protections' and conditions they stipulate, but as this article shows, no condition is stringent enough to protect groundwater once it's disturbed.
Lakes in a National Park south of Sydney have been "stuffed" by nearby coal mines, even though the mines operated within the limits of environmental controls.
As farmer Andrew Pursehouse explained to me and Richard Di Natale on Tuesday at Breeza, once an aquifer is breached, the damage and contamination to groundwater is beyond containment.
And water issues aside, the carbon emissions from any new coal mines all contribute to dangerous global warming.
Use your vote to protect the land, water and atmosphere from coal and carbon pollution -- vote for no new coal -- vote Green.
Senator Richard Di Natale and I travelled around the Liverpool Plains to learn first-hand from farmers about the aquifer system that is under threat from BHP's long-wall coal mining and Shenhua's Watermark projects at Breeza and Caroona.
The Greens are working with farmers on the Liverpool Plains to find the new solutions for sustainable agriculture this century, while Barnaby Joyce keeps reaching for the old methods that have wrecked the Murray-Darling Basin with weirs and pipelines to nowhere.
The first day of the election campaign was the last day of coal-fired power generation in South Australia.
We can switch to a 100% renewable NSW. John Kaye showed us how it could be done.
Yet Barnaby Joyce, Tony Windsor and Labor are all OK with opening more coal mines elsewhere in Australia, outside New England.
It will take a Greens vote to bring in the renewables future.
Tell your friends!