Wandoan’s defiant mine stance
There’s underlying concern that coal seam gas and mining activities are being sanctioned at the expense of food production, jeopardising a swathe of rural communities who are being forced to give up thousands of hectares of prime cropping lands to the developing energy hub.
Lobby group The Wandoan Clean Food Alliance demonstrates the strength of feeling throughout the district by banding together to detail its “anxiety, frustration and insecurity” at the way in which events are unfolding.
Anne Pitkin, Winston, maintains coal seam gas and coal mining projects continue to jeopardise the Great Artesian Basin, “our biggest asset,” by risking contamination of its water.
“Xstrata doesn’t seem to realise they are playing with real people’s lives, and this is a terrible thing happening to our farming community,” Ms Pitkin said.
Anne Pitkin, who says the community’s lives have been on hold for far too long, said: “Once you destroy our land, you will never ever get it back and no amount of money is worth the destruction you (Xstrata) are going to do to our land, lives and future generations.
Colin and Terri Boyce, Everest, say Xstrata’s proposal to mine some 30 million tonnes a coal a year from their mining leases at Wandoan will destroy the social fabric and economy of a small rural community based around some of the best dual purpose farming and grazing land in Australia.
“This community contributes millions of dollars worth of agricultural produce to the Australian economy, and has done so for the past 150 years, and will continue to for many generations to come,” the Boyce family says.
“This mine should be stopped – it is short-term financial greed versus-long term viability of "A" Class food-producing land.”
And Jill Conway, Currawong, says she is “appalled” the elected government has allowed a predominately non-Australian company to turn prime agricultural land into an industrial wasteland for a short-term financial gain for a resource boom bourne out of Chinese and Indian demand.''