Valley joins CSG protest
BRISBANE Valley residents have joined forces with other rural communities affected by coal and coal seam gas as part of National Water Week, joining a rally at Queens Park in Brisbane's CBD last week.
Various community groups gathered at the rally, including Friends of Felton, the Kingaroy Concerned Citizens Group, the Toowoomba Coal Mine Action Group, the Oakey Action Alliance, the Gympie Water, Air and Soil Protection Group and Save Our Darling Downs.
In peaceful demonstrations around the country, community groups have been drawing attention to the risk to food and water security posed by under-regulated mining and CSG developments, especially in Queensland and New South Wales.
Kilcoy-based environmental campaigner Frida Forsberg said it was important that the food and water security message now reached urban areas.
"Rural communities need to stand together and support landholders who say 'no' to mining companies who want to enter their land," Ms Forsberg said.
"That's an important step that needs to be taken locally, but the message also needs to reach major population centres in urban areas.
"When that starts to happen, our government and opposition will have no choice but to sit up and start listening to people."
Ms Forsberg said the plight of rural landholders and food and water security issues were resonating strongly with people in urban areas.
Greens Candidate for Nanango Grant Newson said he would make the fight to stop coal mining and coal seam gas developments in the Brisbane Valley key issues in the upcoming election.
"For our politicians to even consider allowing an open cut mine in the main catchment area of south-east Queensland is a national disgrace," Mr Newson said.
"We need representatives in parliament who will stand up for people instead of pandering to the big mining interests."
Mr Newson said coal mining was a major threat to the future economic prosperity of the Somerset region.
"These companies get their foot in the door by saying 'jobs, jobs, jobs' but the fact is, all they're doing is replacing jobs," he said.
"What you hear very little about is the small businesses that get wiped out, the real estate that becomes unsaleable and the lives that are ruined when residential or agricultural areas suddenly become heavy industry zones."
Mr Newson said that coal seam gas was a major threat to Queensland's economic prosperity and food security and would also be a key issue in his campaign.