08 April, 2016

Update Land Water Future campaign

Exactly one year before the NSW election, farmers with the Lock the Gate Alliance, environmentalists with the Nature Conservation Council, Traditional Owners, community groups and thousands of ordinary citizens joined together to launch the Land Water Future campaign.

Mining companies had a licence to drill for coal and frack for gas in every corner of our state: our forests and farmlands, across all of Sydney, the Southern Highlands, Hunter Valley, Northern Rivers, Liverpool Plains and the state’s north west.

It was an enormous challenge. 80% of NSW was covered with coal and gas mining licences and applications. But today, thanks to you and thousands more, less than 10% of our state is at risk.

It’s been a year since the NSW election, and the Land Water Future campaign is coming to an end. There’s still more to be done, and the Lock the AllianceNature Conservation Council, and community groups across our state will lead the way.

Take a look at this video to see what we did together on Facebook or Youtube.

The small actions of thousands of people added up to something big:
  • 250 of you rallied for a frack-free Gloucester Valley at the AGL AGM, making sure every board director and shareholder heard the message;
  • 700 of you wrote submissions opposing Rio Tinto’s coal expansion plan to wipe out the Hunter Valley village of Bulga;
  • 250 of you took it straight to the Premier's own electorate in Manly, joining one of the biggest doorknocks in Australian political history, reaching over 8000 households;
  • 185 Lane Cove residents hosted Liverpool Plains farmers at a forum in the NSW Resource Minister’s electorate, joining forces for a powerful city-country partnership;
  • 150 of you heard the Professor the Honorable Dame Marie Bashir issue her clarion call at our International Womens’ Day event, “The destruction of our farmland must stop. That is my feeling, and I have never been so emphatic or political in my life";
  • Over 250,000 of you watched our humorous video about Shenhua’s plans to “relocate” koalas from the Liverpool Plains;
  • 440 of you feasted at our Paddock to Plate Fathers’ Day Luncheon in support of farmers and winemakers fighting coal and gas in the Liverpool Plains and Hunter Valley;
  • 4,000 of you came together to make a human sign that read ‘Beyond Coal and Gas’;
  • Tens of thousands of you turned out with your grandmothers, kids and neighbours to see Frackman in cinemas across the state;
  • Thousands of you gave AGL the flick, switching to an energy provider that doesn’t frack our land and water;
  • You emailed your local politicians, you called the Premier’s office, you rallied outside Parliament, you doorknocked your street, you turned up to public meetings, you shared stories online, and you signed petitions;
  • And hundreds of you travelled hundreds of kilometres to support communities on the frontline like Camden, the Liverpool Plains, Bulga, Bylong, Gloucester and Wollar, giving local communities fresh hope for their future and the fight ahead.

It was awesome! Check out the highlights in this short video on Facebook or Youtube.  

In the end, it was city residents joining with country communities for our land, water and future that has made all the difference. Thank you.

More than 20 coal seam gas licences were cancelled across Sydney, the Illawarra, Southern Highlands, Central Coast,  Gloucester and Manning Valley, Hunter Valley, Rylstone, Bylong, Gunnedah, Northern Rivers, and Northern Tablelands. Coal mine expansions were slowed, stalled and some in the Hunter Valley were stopped. Together, we made the protection of land, water and future a political priority.

There's still more to do to protect the Liverpool Plains from Shenhua's coal mine and the Pilliga forest from Santos's gasfield, and to support communities like Bylong, Berrima and Hunter Valley towns like Bulga as they fight for their future.

Make sure you’re a part of the next phase with the Nature Conservation Council and Lock The Gate Alliance.

Join the Lock the Gate Alliance here: www.lockthegate.org.au/join_us

Interested in doing more to protect our land, water and future? You can volunteer with Lock the Gate by signing up here.

Sign up with the Nature Conservation Council here: http://natureorg.nationbuilder.com/sign_up_beyond_coal_gas

Better yet, RSVP to their Tuesday April 26 public forum in Manly and hear from farmers and traditional owners taking action to protect the Pilliga forest and be part of making NSW coal seam gas free.

Thanks for being part of something big.

Holly and Nell, for the Land Water Future team.

P.S. Don't miss the wonderful highlight reel: https://youtu.be/oI-J6vz4bwI 

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