Thursday 12 July 2012


A Clarence Valley woman recently sent the following email to Andrew Stoner, M.P., Deputy Premier of NSW and Leader of the NSW National Party.

Dear Mr Stoner

I send this email to you with sadness in my heart as I reflect upon your recent statement about Coal Seam Gas as quoted below:

"The extremists in this debate will never be pleased, no matter what.
We won't be dealing with those people. We're dealing with people who are
making constructive suggestions as to how we can protect our farm future
whilst also reaping the benefits of resources development."

My understanding has always been that our elected politicians are ‘in power’ to protect and listen to their people. Apparently this is not the case.

Are you not voted into parliament by the people and for the people? Do the concerns of the people not matter to you any more?  Do the money hungry mining magnates and mining companies, being allowed by your government to rape our land of national resources, (and yes, they do belong to the crown not a handful full of greedy mining executives) matter more to you and your government than the majority of constituents in NSW?

I was in Sydney at the Save our Land and Water Rally earlier this year and saw you stand up in front of at least 7,000 people, and heard you state that, your government would not allow any new Coal Seam Gas (CSG) Evaporation Ponds in NSW. Well Mr Stoner, I can tell you (and I’m sure you already know), that a new CSG evaporation pond is being built near Casino in NSW. And yes, we all know that they and the government are calling it a ‘Holding Pond’ and not an evaporation pond. Do you think that the community are so out of touch that they don’t know what is going on?

We will not fooled by verbal semantics.  Times have changed Mr Stoner. The people are well educated and have the resources to educate themselves. We will not have the ‘wool pulled over our eyes’ any longer. The people are tired of being lied to and quite frankly tired of all the political propaganda. How many more of these ponds will be constructed on the floodplains of the northern rivers? How many more toxic spills and gas mining ‘incidents’ need to occur before the government takes the people’s concerns seriously?

Oh I forgot - we are just extremists who won’t be dealt with!

We don’t want this dirty toxic industry on the north coast, northern rivers or anywhere else in NSW. We have spoken to landholders in Queensland who have experienced the whole damned mess. Bores and dams have been poisoned and rendered useless. People are becoming ill from the toxic fumes and chemicals. Aquifer levels are falling and farmers are having to walk off their properties because they can’t successfully farm their land. They can’t sell their farms. Who wants to live in a gas field? The properties are worthless.

Do we want 40,000 CSG wells here, as is planned in Queensland? Do we want this in NSW? I think not Mr Stoner.

I am not a fool or an extremist, Mr Stoner. I am a business woman, mother and grand mother, and I am floored by the whole greedy urgency of the CSG Industry. No consideration has been given to the rights and future needs of the people, or to the people’s right and need for clean water, healthy undamaged food producing land and a non toxic environment. We are living in a time when we should be taking steps to safeguard our water and food production assets for the future, when in fact we are doing the opposite. Future generations will suffer the double whammy of ongoing global warming AND loss of food-producing land and water assets because of the greed for profits and profligate development of fossil fuel.

Your government will be remembered as the government that sold out its people and their environment for the short term monetary benefit of a few Gas Mining companies who are selling the majority of the produced gas overseas!

Shame on you Mr Stoner!

Wednesday 4 July 2012


Almost on a regular basis these days reports come in of unnatural deaths in native animals. Invariably these are found to be caused by human practices. So how much do we care? In America at the end of last year 16 swans were found dead by an unknown cause near Mill Pond, Massachusetts,. The only concern arising out of this was whether or not the swans might pass something unpleasant on to humans.

State waterfowl biologist H Heussmann reassured the people that whatever it was would be unlikely to be harmful to humans. He had seen die-offs of Canadian geese in other parts of the state from lead poisoning, and couldn't totally rule out lead poisoning in the case of the swans.

Since 1974 the Minnesota University raptor centre has admitted on average 25-30 eagles each year through acute lead poisoning during the hunting seasons. Extensive tests have isolated lead residues from high velocity rifle bullet fragments and shotgun pellets, mainly from carcasses and gut piles from deer, pheasants, rabbits, squirrels etc left behind by hunters.

It is also accepted in America that accumulated lead shot lies in large quantities in the sediment of still- water wetlands, where unrecovered waterbird carcasses are left to rot after the hunting season.

How will this affect Australians? Well, no unnatural poisonous substance in our waterways is ever good. Oddly a large number of us are of the opinion that deaths of non-target native animals is not good either. So really it comes down to a question of values, and our attitudes to wildlife. Politicians making decisions should always be cautious before dispensing favours on demand. Grant a gift to a human being, it is very difficult to take it away again. People who carry guns are not known for their compassion. Yet encouraged by our leaders, like in America a gun-cult is insidiously being expanded across Australia by parents through their children.

As a nation once revered for its fun-loving, genuinely gentle spirit, do we really want to become a carbon copy of warring, gun-toting America?

- P Edwards