ABC radio Sydney - 16.10.2011
Thousands of people have joined rallies around the nation to express concerns about the impact of the billion-dollar coal seam gas (CSG) mining industry.
Protesters gathered in New South Wales, Queensland and Western Australia in what is believed to be the largest demonstrations held in opposition to the controversial extraction technique.
Speakers at the rallies called on governments to stop granting mining licences for extracting coal seam gas because of the damage they say it causes.
Greens Senator Larissa Waters says urban and rural communities across Australia want governments to listen to their concerns about CSG industries.
She says politicians should not be blinded by the royalties and inflated jobs predictions.
“The royalties they get are not actually that great when it comes to a proportion of GDP and yet they’re risking our highly profitable agricultural and tourism industries,” she said.
“It’s about time they took the dollar signs out of their eyes and looked to the long term about what’s going to be good for this nation in 20, 30, 50, 100 years’ time.”
Liverpool Plains farmer Rosemary Nankeville told a Sydney rally very little of the power generated from CSG mining will be used in New South Wales because it is earmarked for export.
“So like the coal industry, New South Wales is letting in huge multinational companies to pillage our beautiful country, taking the spoils overseas and leaving us with issues which may never be resolved.”
In Western Australia, protesters gathered in Reuther Park at Margaret River, while in Queensland protests were held in Brisbane, Toowoomba, the Darling Downs, the Sunshine Coast and Gympie.
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