Stop CSG Illawarra released the statement below on May 1.
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Stop CSG Illawarra members will join others from across the state today with a message for the NSW government: protect our land and water from coal seam gas (CSG) and irresponsible mining.
The rally — called by the NSW Farmers Association — is supported by the Country Women’s Association, Hunter Thoroughbred Breeders, GetUp, the Hunter Valley Wine Industry Association, the Nature Conservation Council and Lock the Gate.
The rally follows comments from the NSW Resources and Energy Minister Chris Hartcher, who yesterday wrote to regional and rural newspapers seeking to discredit groups involved in the protest. He tried to drive a wedge between farmers and Stop CSG Illawarra and GetUp.
Stop CSG Illawarra spokesperson Jess Moore stated: “The NSW government is in a completely indefensible position when it comes to CSG, so Hartcher is trying to divide broad opposition rather than talk about the issue.
“The fact is — like the community itself — the Stop CSG Illawarra campaign has members involved in other groups and activities. And we’re all working together because we want to see land and water protected.
“The government promised to protect water, agriculture and the environment from CSG. But their draft plans break this promise.
“No part of NSW — not the land where food is grown, not our water catchments — is off limits to CSG.
“If the Premier doesn’t distance himself from Hartcher’s slurs, the people of NSW will know what he does not stand for: participation by an engaged electorate.
Stop CSG Illawarra organiser Steve Whistler added: “This campaign is supported by thousands in the Illawarra community, unified in calling for a common-sense, science-first approach to CSG.