Saturday, August 8, 2009
Barnaby Joyce gives his word to Felton
Senator Barnaby Joyce visited Felton on Saturday to meet with Friends of Felton.
To rapturous applause, Senator Joyce gave the commitment that he would do whatever he could to stop coal mining development proceeding at Felton.
"There is only two per cent of prime agricultural land in Australia and we should not be mining it. There is an abundance of land that has coal underneath it. The state government may lose seats at the next election if they allow this to be mined. It would be criminal to turn this region into another Hunter Valley." Senator Joyce said.
He said state governments issued mining leases for the sake of raising capital and before the farmers knew it, their land was being sought for mining.
"We must protect this land so we have the capacity to feed ourselves in the future," Senator Joyce said. "The debate has started about whether this area should be mined and now we are raising the profile. Ms Bligh, in this current politically sensitive climate, does not want to do anything else wrong so we think she will listen."
Senator Joyce promised Friends of Felton that he would arrange for the ongoing Senate Inquiry into Food Security to have a hearing at Felton.
"The Senators on that committee need to come to Felton to appreciate the importance of this issue in the national context" Senator Joyce said.
Senator Joyce assisted the children of Felton to launch 300 helium balloons printed with "No Mines on Darling Downs - our foodbowl". The biodegradable balloons were designed to represent coal dust and pollution from the proposed coal development, and were tagged with a phone number for the chance to win a prize. Friends of Felton will track the progress of the balloons to see how far they go.