Posted by Chris Sheed, Thursday, 27th September 2012 @ 8:36pm
In 2011 more than 10,000 people filled the streets across eastern Australia as part of the Lock the Gate National Day of Action. From the peaks of the Scenic Rim to the Illawarra Bridge Walk, community groups chose colour and creativity to demand a future free of inappropriate coal and gas mining.
It was an amazing display of solidarity and strength across more than 100 towns and communities.
This year Lock the Gate are expanding to an Australia wide week of action to be held between 13 and 19 October.
Lock the Gate is asking local groups and communities to pick a date in that week that suits and come up with an event, a protest, a picnic, or a peaceful direct action of your choosing preferably unique to your city, town or region.
Just like last year, let's be diverse and daring. We all need to create a message our politicians can’t ignore.
The theme for this year is 'Healthy Communities' - because we know that the very fabric of our communities is put at risk from inappropriate coal and gas mining. Human health is threatened by dangerous coal dust and toxic gas fumes, quality of life is destroyed by industrialisation and the loss of amenity, and mental health is at risk from disempowerment and social dislocation.
So, this year, let's focus on our communities and what we love most about them. This year, let's send the message that healthy people and resilient communities are the way of the future, not more dirty coal and gas.
MCWAG encourages all our members and supporters to submit ideas for a day/week of action for consideration at the MCWAG AGM on Tuesday 9th October at 6pm at the Taree Uniting Church, Albert Street, Taree
Heard about coal seam gas extraction and fraccing? It is happening in Gloucester and could soon be coming to an aquifer near you in Taree, Wingham and Forster.
On Wednesday 23 March, anyone interested in this important issue is invited to attendcommunity forums being held in Taree.
Taree Forum: Café Mediterrano, 232 Victoria Street Taree, 4-5pm, Wednesday 23 March.
A ten minute film on mining in our region (local winner of the 2009 Forster Film Festival) will be followed by a short presentation by guest speaker Cate Faehrmann MLC, environment spokesperson for NSW Greens. The floor will then be open to general discussion.
The forums will be hosted by Myall Lakes Greens candidate Greg Smith.
“If people think this issue is not important for us in the Myall Lakes electorate they are wrong. Coal gas seam mining can affect the water table and our river systems. Do we really want to drink water contaminated by methane gas or chemicals?” said Greg Smith.
"Both Labor and the Coalition have ignored the Greens call for a moratorium. Now, with methane bubbling out of rivers, will they finally act?," said Ms Faehrmann.
"It's unacceptable that this government has been approving coal seam gas exploration in the State’s drinking water catchments… yet we've seen approval after approval given for companies to mine in sensitive areas and close to rivers and dams. This is extreme madness,” said Ms Faehrmann.
“A host of electorates, including Myall Lakes, are having public forums trying to stop the mining that the two major parties support,” said Greg Smith. “This is grassroots democracy at work. The people telling their government that enough is enough.”