Updated: June 21, 2012
Cycling koalas and csg protesters say, Santos: you can't 'spin' your way onto our farms and our forests
The Wilderness Society (Newcastle) Inc.
22 June 2012
Residents are protesting at the Santos sponsored North West Cycling Tour to let Santos know that they cannot 'spin' their way onto local farms and forests with sponsorship and propaganda.
"We have the greatest respect for cycling and cyclists, but we don't respect Santos efforts to sink gas wells on our best farmland and our most valuable bushland" said Ms Jane Judd, from Friends of the Pilliga at Coonabarabran.
"We are not here to disrupt the cycling race in any way, we are here with a message for Santos - 'get on ya bike' and leave our region until you can prove that you won't damage our land and water" she said.
"We're very pleased to see this display of healthy activity in the northwest but there is nothing healthy about coal seam gas, and the risks it poses to community well-being are serious" said Kirrily Bloomfield, from Liverpool Plains SOS.
"There have still not been any proper health impact assessments conducted on coal seam gas and we are very concerned about reports from Queensland of bleeding from the ears and nose, nausea and rashes amongst people forced to live in a gas field" she said.
"As far as we're concerned, the real cycle that Santos is bringing to our region is a cycle of destruction from coal seam gas that will alienate some of our best farm land and cause land values to plummet" said David Quince from Mullaley Gas Pipeline Accord.
"Water is important to the survival of riders along the North West Tour today but it is also incredibly important to farmers who depend on it for their livelihoods, their farm enterprises and their future.
"Cyclists wouldn't accept poor quality water on the Tour, so why should farmers allow their precious underground water supplies to be put at risk from Santos and coal seam gas?" he said.
"The cyclists on the North West Tour will be riding through some beautiful and scenic landscapes but the tourism values of this unique region will be severely impacted by coal seam gas mining" said Naomi Hogan from The Wilderness Society.
"National treasures like the Pilliga which draw people from all around the world are threatened by the coal seam gas industry and even the Koala, recognised as a symbol of Australia internationally, faces an uncertain future if coal seam gas rolls out across the region" she said.
Naomi Hogan, The Wilderness Society: 0401 650 411
Jane Judd, Friends of the Pilliga: 0428 434 446
Kirrily Bloomfield, Liverpool Plains SOS: 0417 894 474
David Quince, Mullaley Gas Pipeline Accord: 0427 442 382
For more information, please contact:
The Wilderness Society Newcastle Inc
Hunter Heritage Centre,
90 Hunter Street,
Newcastle, NSW, 2300
Phone: 02 4929 4395