Farmers head to food forum

MEMBERS of the Golden Triangle Action Group will make the journey south tomorrow in an effort to tell their story to a national audience.

The farmers, who are fighting a coal mine proposal on their Central Highlands land, will travel to Oakey for the inaugural Australia’s Food Security forum hosted by leading radio broadcaster Alan Jones.

Protest groups from around the state are expected to join forces by sharing their stories to a crowd filled with national media, dignitaries, activists and politicians.

“We want to go down there and tell the real story of what’s happening out here. What we’re fighting for,” GTAG’s Andrew Bate said.

The event will be sponsored by the Oakey Coal Action Alliance, one of the many protest groups that have formed to fight the expansion of coal seam gas and coal operations across the state.

Speakers include Federal MP Bob Katter, State MP Aiden McLindon, Lock the Gate Alliance president Drew Hutton, environmentalist Bob Irwin, Acland farmer Sid Plant, Condamine farmer Ruth Armstrong and Friends of Felton members Craig Hanlon and John Bryce.

Shock jock Alan Jones grew up in Acland, a small town near Oakey, and has a personal connection to the battle against a New Hope open-cut coal mine expansion in the area, OCAA president Peter Faulkner said.

“We hope this will be a launching pad for our cause, as well as other groups going through similar experiences,” Mr Faulkner said.

“Most people simply don’t know what is going on out here.”

Premier Anna Bligh and Minister Stirling Hinchcliffe, declined invites to the forum.

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