Penny Blatchford and Christine Milne

29 May 2013 — New South Wales farmer Penny Blatchford has locked the gates to her 7000 hectares at Gurley and Bellata to stop mining companies from carrying out drilling and exploration on her land.

She is one of 84 landholders on the Moree Plains who have refused to sign access agreements.

“Although we have locked the gate, we still do not have the legal power to stop mining companies coming onto our land,” she said.

“This is our future at stake here. We should have the right to protect our land and water for our children and grandchildren and all the other generations that come after that.

“This is why we support the Greens’ campaign and I urge all federal politicians to help get this legislation over the line so we can say no to coal seam gas.”

The Australian Greens, and farmers, are calling on people to support the Greens’ campaign to give landholders the right to say no to coal seam gas mining on their land.

Greens leader Senator Christine Milne said when it was politically convenient, Tony Abbott told farmers that mining companies shouldn’t be allowed on their land when they’re not wanted “but then does nothing about it in Canberra”.

“Penny Blatchford has been leading the no CSG campaign in north-west NSW where farmers have locked the gate to stop mining companies marching onto their land,” she said.

“She wanted to meet with Tony Abbott to discuss her concerns but apparently he doesn’t have any space in his diary before the election. How can he not have 30 minutes to spare between now and 14 September?

“This is further proof the Liberals and Nationals have abandoned farmers on this issue and it’s time they threw their support behind our legislation to give landholders the right to say no to CSG.”

Greens mining spokesperson Senator Larissa Waters is set to move an amendment for landholder rights in the Senate.