Whose interests are really being served by the party you vote for?
Is it local people and businesses, schools and hospitals, farms and local producers?
Maybe the best way to answer that question is to look at water, our most valuable resource. And whilst the people of our towns are paying more and more for it our farmers are getting less and less of it. Why? Well there is less falling and more being evaporated. But the biggest users of water are the mines and coal fired power stations. Do the big users pay for the huge roll out of water infrastructure that is now being required in regional NSW?
Why does Bathurst all of a sudden want to raise its dam wall again? Has the population reached the 70,000 people it was designed to supply? Are those plans being made for people or, is it to do with the new gold mine planned for King’s Plains? Is our water about to go south the same way that Orange’s did with Cadia gold mine?
Rural people across the state feel they have been sold out to mining and coal seam gas. They’re losing their water, their land and their communities to a toxic industry.
Meanwhile here in Lithgow, one of the oldest coal mining areas in the state, people are losing their jobs. There’s an oversupply of coal and China and India no longer want to import it. The price is too low to export it but too high to use for our own electricity supply so they’re mothballing the old power station. But who is the government protecting – the foreign owned companies and their assets – not the people who work there, live there.
Now the Government is bending over backwards to unlock the gates for the foreign owned Coal Seam Gas companies to contaminate the underground waters of NSW. Who is benefitting from these licences? Where are they going to sell their gas? Again it’s too expensive for local use and China’s now signed a deal with Russia for a gas pipeline.
The answer for us here in NSW is in clean energy – investment, jobs, saving our water, our farms, our communities and our climate. We should demand clean politics which represent the real interests of the people of regional NSW not the foreign owned mining corporations to whom the major parties have sold out the farm.
Tracey Carpenter is President of Bathurst Climate Network and a Member of the Greens