Around 200 people turned out for the February 13 protest in Casula to tell Barry O’Farrell to "lock the state" on coal seam gas companies. The protest was initiated by Socialist Alliance and Greens activists in Western Sydney.
The breadth of growing anger against the CSG industry was on display through the number of groups that supported and spoke at the rally. This included representatives from the Scenic Hills Association, SOS Rivers, NSW Greens MLC Jeremy Buckingham as well as Stop CSG groups from St Peters, Ingleburn, Blacktown, Blue Mountains and Illawarra,
Below is the speech given by Melinda Wilson from No CSG Blacktown.
Thank you so much to everyone here today. My name is Melinda Wilson and I'm from No CSG Blacktown.
The Blacktown area is covered by coal seam gas licence 463 in place at Eastern Creek and held by Macquarie Energy, also known as Dart energy.
We recently received verbal confirmation that drilling is definitely going ahead at Eastern Creek. The licence has not yet been given government approval.
This is the future of our nation — our children deserve a future where their water and air is clean. They deserve a future free from illness.
When a fellow mother, Debbie Orr, tells me her children are all sick, as well as 26 other families in Tara, Queensland — and they only became sick after coal seam gas mining came to town, I believe her. I believe those suffering, I don’t believe the government and mining spin.
The people of Western Sydney will not be used as guinea pigs in a coal seam gas experiment. We must protect our homes and the health of our communities, as well as our pets and wildlife.
The serious health effects relating to coal seam gas and “fracking” must be acknowledged by our government and the mining industry.
Many people are under the impression that Australia is the land of the free — I challenge this perception and instead say Australia is now the land of greed.
We are no longer free when mining companies, assisted by our own government, are able to drill coal seam gas wells and frack under our homes. We are no longer free if we aren’t allowed to say no.
Barry O’Farrell and the mining industry need to realise the people of Western Sydney are not an easy target. We will not be collateral damage, we will stand up, we will fight, until all CSG mining is banned.
[Contact Fred Fuentes on 0412 556 527 if you would like to get involved in the campaign against CSG mining in Western Sydney]