West of the range they're not happy, not surprising really, they have some of the best agricultural land in the country with the misfortune in having a shitload of coal underneath it. These lands are the kind of areas we will be relying more and more to feed us in the centuries to come, unfortunatelly the state government, Shooters Party and Fred Nile see it differently.
Govt, Nile, Shooters unite against Greens bill protecting prime farming land from mining
Thursday 04 June 2009
Government MPs, the Shooters Party and Rev Fred Nile today indicated they will vote against a Greens bill in the NSW Upper House designed to protect prime agricultural land from mining. Greens MP Lee Rhiannon said farming communities from the Gloucester and Liverpool Plains regions would be understandably disappointed at the outcome.
"This vote will not kill off the campaign to protect our best food-producing land. Local farming communities and the Greens will now redouble our efforts to protect these rich, productive soils from mining," Ms Rhiannon said.
The Safeguarding Agricultural Land and Water from Mining Bill aims to protect prime agricultural land, and the rivers and aquifers that feed that land, from mining.
"Amid fiery debate between MPs, around thirty farmers walked out of the public gallery, shouting 'Shame! Shame!' while Reverend Nile was speaking. They were responding to claims by Rev Nile that farmers have been duped by the Greens.
"The government today missed the opportunity to recognise that the best food-producing land in NSW is a public asset that should be preserved for the future by law.
"Protecting prime farming land is critical because the world is facing the prospect of increasing food insecurity and decreasing harvests as a result of climate change.
"The road block to quarantining valuable agriculture land from mining is the NSW government which has been captured by the mining industry.
"The government pocketed $99 million from BHP Billiton and $300 million from China Shenhua to explore the Liverpool Plains areas.
"Windfalls from mining have blinded the government to the big picture issues of food security and climate change.
"The NSW Shooters Party also deserted farmers today to support the government in opposing this bill. Only yesterday the government allowed the Shooters to introduce their private members bill to expand hunting in NSW.
"Was this a deal? We will never know," Ms Rhiannon said.
Update from "The Land": Battle lost to miners but farmers dig in on land use war