Protests confront Gillard on coal seam gas, refugee rights
About 200 protesters against the coal seam gas industry and supporters of refugee rights rallied outside a federal government community cabinet meeting at Yeronga State High School on September 1.
Despite three separate requests from the Lock the Gate Alliance management committee and individual members of the campaign against coal seam gas, no interview with federal environment minister Tony Burke was granted.
Lock the Gate members and supporters gathered to call on the federal government for urgent action against the threat to water, land and the environment represented by the coal seam gas industry.
Rally chairperson Ewan Saunders told the audience that it was time to “stand up and say ‘No to CSG’” and said the Lock the Gate Alliance was growing in leaps and bounds as widespread opposition develops across the country.
Scott Collins, a resident of the Tara estate in south-west Queensland, which is experiencing all-out invasion from the coal seam gas companies, said: “There will soon be no farmland left because it will be all covered by CSG. Our homes are now unsellable, and almost uninhabitable.”
“Our water, our land, no to CSG,” the crowd chanted.
Beside the anti-coal seam gas rally, supporters of refugee rights gathered to demand an end to mandatory detention of asylum seekers and their deportation for “offshore processing”.
The rally was called by GetUp and supported by the Refugee Action Collective.
At one stage, the two rallies united in chanting, “Open the gates to refugees. Close the gates to CSG.”