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Protestors declare war on CSG mining

UPDATE: WAR was declared on the coal seam gas industry by vocal anti-mining advocates at a Cecil Plains protest at the weekend.

Landholder and founder of Save Our Darling Downs Ruth Armstrong and controversial radio broadcaster Alan Jones were two of the many speakers who addressed the 500 people gathered at the protest.  

Local landholders, politicians and supporters of the cause wore T-shirts and held signs to voice their concerns over the proposal of an Arrow Energy Surat Gas Project.  

Ms Armstrong, who lives on a property in the area, spends up to 40 hours a week researching and fighting the cause.  

"The CSG industry has declared war on agriculture and I say bring it on," she said.  

"They will not win anything.   

"This is a war and this is an army so rally the troops. We can't do it alone."  

The protest was held on Graham Clapham's property, just one of the many in the region that will be affected if the Surat Gas Project goes ahead.  

The project will cover an area extending from Wandoan to Dalby and south to Millmerran and Goondiwindi.  

"It's not about personal attacks on our opponents, personal attacks on our government, or hate speech about those two parties," Mr Clapham said.  

"We're passionate about agriculture; we're passionate about protecting the land and resources here against inappropriate mining development."  

Mr Jones echoed these sentiments.  

"We've got to be a lot tougher than we've been," he said.  

"This is a war, make no mistake. It's an invasion which betrays common sense."  

Mr Jones said the current debate was "dominated by lies" and that intellectual debate was needed to win.  

"We are saying this land is not to be contested. It's as plain as the nose on your face, this is prime agricultural land," he said.  

"We don't need any research into Cecil Plains as to what impact CSG mining might have.  

"There is no contemplation of any other function being conducted on this land than agriculture and fibre."  

No representatives from Arrow Energy were present.

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HUNDREDS are expected to rally at Nangwee near Cecil Plains today, to oppose Arrow Energy's Surat Gas Project in the region.

Radio personality Alan Jones and Lock the Gate Alliance president Drew Hutton will both speak at the event this morning.

Rally organiser Ruth Armstrong said if the Arrow project goes ahead, it will have a significant negative impact on agriculture in the area.

"A CSG industry at Cecil Plains will come at a significant cost to soil health, groundwater, agricultural productivity and to our community socially," she said.

"Arrow's proposed project is clearly not in the interests of the farming community around Cecil Plains, nor is it in the interests of all Queenslanders and people generally."

Topics:  agriculture alan jones arrow energy cecil plains coal seam gas drew hutton protest


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