DREW Hutton, president of Lock the Gate Alliance, is keynote speaker at the Call to Country meeting in Taree next week.
This year the national Lock the Gate Alliance is taking the Call to Country all around Australia and the Taree meeting has been convened at Manning Clean Water Action Group. It will be held next Tuesday 0 at 6.30pm in the Manning Uniting Church hall in Albert street.
"This is a very important meeting because it is the first time that a local group critical of inappropriate mining projects is acting in concert with a coordinated national campaign," Christine Stanton from Tinonee, secretary of MCWAG, said.
"That national campaign is being driven by Lock the Gate Alliance and I am keen to hear what its president, Drew Hutton has to say at his first attendance ever to a local meeting organised by a Lock the Gate member organisation."
"There is much being said at the moment about farming, coal and gas mining, access to fresh water, industry and land use.
"The assault on our environment created by our demand for coal and gas driven energy is finally being seen as one of the issues of our time.
"We are also told much of what we stand to gain through continuing our support for the fossil fuel industry. Coal and gas mining in particular are being offered as the way into the future. But at what cost?"
"We also need to consider how much of our demand for gas really is 'our demand'. It is well known that most of the coal seam gas extracted is for export; all the while we have enough conventional, non-coal seam gas (in the Bass Strait for example), to supply the domestic market for hundreds of years to come!"
"In that mad dash to extract coal and gas resources what happens to our land, fresh water and, ultimately, our capacity to create our own food? Will we allow the mining industry to take our farmland, industrialise our landscapes, abuse our water and pollute our health?"