11 April 2012
The Greens mining spokesperson, Jeremy Buckingham congratulated local farmers and environmentalists for their commitment and courage displayed by the lock-on protest to stop two open cut coal mines destroying the Leard State Forest, North East of Boggabri.
Carmel Flint from the Northern Inland Council for the Environment has chained herself to a bulldozer set to destroy the Leard State Forest for the 100% Japanese owned Idemitsu Boggabri coal mine.
“The Greens congratulate these courageous protesters for protecting this important forest on the Liverpool Plains. It should be a wake up call for the O’Farrell Government who promised to restore balance between mining, farming and the environment,” said Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham.
“The Leard State Forest includes 754 hectares of critically endangered woodland and has been identified by the State Government has Tier 1 Biodiversity land, yet the Planning Assessment Commission has given the green light to its destruction by Boggabri Coal and Nathan Tinkler’s Aston Coal.
“While Queensland’s Campbell Newman has already acted to protect areas like Ackland and the Felton Valley, NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell is doing nothing to stop coal mining destroying the last significant tract of remanent woodland on the Liverpool Plains.
“Nathan Tinkler’s Maules Creek mine has a stench about it with undeclared donations to the National Party, former Nationals Leader Mark Vaile on the board, former General Secretary of the NSW Nationals and Barry O’Farrell’s former Chief of Staff Liam Bathgate lobbying, and Former National Party Minister Garry West on the three person Planning Assessment Commission.
“With such close links between the mine and Coalition Government, it is no wonder that local farmers and environmentalists have taken direct action to stop these coal mines destroying an important forest and threatening nearby water resources and farmland,” he said.
Photos of the protest are available at http://www.flickr.com/photos/treslola/sets/72157629424603202/
Contact: Max Phillips 9230 2202 or 0419 444 916