My name is Anne Kennedy, I’m a farmer from Coonamble in north-west NSW.
We had a big day here on Saturday, with more than 630 people turning out to declare our entire district ‘Gasfield Free’. That’s an area of 1 million hectares!
Together the people of our region have done their utmost to knock on every door of every property in the district. And the results are absolutely unequivocal – 96% of people want our region ‘Gasfield Free’.
Our big celebration on Saturday was led out by our new Gasfield Free ‘Light Horse Brigade’ – 50 wonderful men and women on horseback. There were hordes of our little ones on bikes and scooters and together we sang a stirring rendition of “We’re the boys from the bush and we don’t want gas“. You can view some wonderful images of the day by clicking on the photo below –
The crowning moment of the day took place on the local oval, the declaration itself! The 24 communities of Coonamble Shire lined up one-by-one to declare themselves “Gasfield Free” and accept their ‘Gasfield Free Road’ signs. It was a beautiful event that drew on everything that I love most about Coonamble and the determined people of the district.
Click on this image to watch a short and inspiring 2 minute video from the day:
As I have said many times, I’m not anti-mining and I’m not a radical.
I’m a conservative and a 66 year old grandmother of 11, and I would like nothing more than to be spending all my time with grandchildren and my husband on the farm. But the threat of coal seam gas mining puts all that at risk.
For me, it’s all about the water. You see, I’m the President of the NSW Artesian Bore Water Users Association and I am painfully aware that farmers in our region are entirely dependent on the Great Artesian Basin.
Our Governments are not prepared to stand up and protect our scarce water resources and our farm businesses from big CSG companies. So we have no choice but to stand strong together, and to protect the country ourselves.
And that’s what we were doing on Saturday.
And it’s happening now right across Australia. More than 220 communities across 3 million hectares of land have now declared their land, water and communities ‘Gasfield Free’. And we are just getting started!
We are incredibly grateful for the support that we have received from Lock the Gate supporters from all walks of life. We know our best hope is when we stand shoulder to shoulder, united in our love for country.
Out here in the bush, your support from right across Australia means everything to us.
If you have the inclination to get a taste for life out here, please join us in the Pilliga on the 5th April, for music, celebration and song, and lend your support on the front line to prevent dangerous coal seam gas mining!
Anne Kennedy from Coonamble
Anne Kennedy for Lock the Gate