Sign of the times: AgGrow protests

The Anti Coal Seam Gas rally in Sydney in front of Parliament House. Landholders will stand up at this year’s AgGrow.
The Anti Coal Seam Gas rally in Sydney in front of Parliament House. Landholders will stand up at this year’s AgGrow.

LOCAL landholders tired of seeing their agricultural and grazing land diminish at the hands of mining will descend on Emerald AgGrow this year, bringing with them a stall never seen before at the event.

Amid the mining giants and heavy machinery will be a group of fed-up landholders standing alongside members from Lock the Gate Alliance and The Australia Institute. They will unite against coal and gas encroachment.

"It's about time we start to talk about this huge problem and counter the mining aggression somehow. I hear many sad stories and we need to support each other more," Denise Campbell of Orange Downs near Barcaldine said.

Organiser and grazier of Withersfield Station, near Anakie, John Graham said: "This will be a great opportunity for landholders who are feeling the impact of the mining industry to share their stories and obtain information."

At 5.30pm next Wednesday landholders will also gather at the Emerald Golf Club for a presentation by The Australia Institute's Mark Ogge: Mining the Truth: the true economic impact of Queensland's mining boom.

This will be followed by a screening of the film Bimblebox at 7.30pm.

Bimblebox Nature Refuge is an 8000ha property near Alpha directly in the path of the proposed China First coal mine.


Springsure grazier on a mission 

AVRIEL Tyson, whose family has lived on the Springwood property since 1895 near Springsure, will join landholders from across Central Queensland at the Beyond Coal and Gas Forum.

The forum aims to give landholders the skills to challenge the "unacceptable" impacts of coal and coal seam gas mining. Springwood is a cattle property with irrigation and strategic cropping land - a family run business.

But it also lies in the way of Xstrata's proposed Rolleston Coal Mine expansion.

"We need a plan for all of Australia regarding resource development to protect food and water and environment," Mrs Tyson said.

"I'm attending the forum to gain additional knowledge and skills."

The forum is at Hay Point, south of Mackay, on July 28 and 29. 

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