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Originally published 09Jan2014


food for the forest wanted please: sat!!

Newsletter 141
9 January 2014

Dear readers!

FOOD FOR THE FOREST – more wanted please!

MULLUM CIVIC – Sat 11 Jan 6 – 8pm
Many thanks to those who"ve offered cakes and/or savouries for Saturday"s gathering about Maules Creek in the Leard Forest. Great article by Graeme Williams p5 of this week"s Echo gives a picture of the disgrace about to befall a magnificent State Forest . . . nothing"s sacred!
see Maules Creek call to arms

We could still do with more donations of food – esp savouries (contact: Deborah(at) 66843723). The CWA built up a whole network, did great things for women, including Aboriginal women, drought relief, charity fundraising and oxytocin-raising in their communities by sharing more than tea and scones . . . we can take a leaf from their cuppa.

More help wanted for the kitchen, please!

A gathering of activists is a wonderfully inspiring place to meet others who care about our future, our land, our water and enjoy connecting with like-minded souls. All welcome. This, fr"instance, is one of the more extreme gatherings to welcome Brad Hazzard to Lismore just over a year ago.

Support can come in many ways – you don"t have to be on the front-line or very vocal. Just adding your voice to the discourse; bringing up the discussion can go a long way (or baking a cake).

MEETING WITH DON PAGE, MP, Minister for the North Coast, and Minister for Local Government
Olga and Deborah went to see Don Page on Wed 8 January.

He impressed upon us straight away how busy he was; he was 10 mins late because of a radio interview he was doing. He threw up his hands and said "It"s all happening today". However, he was courteous and asked us about our holidays. Olga asked various sticky questions re Bentley and the dead earth resulting from toxic holding-pond spill she had seen at the Pilliga (see below). He made the following statements:

1. All areas zoned ‘residential" will be included in the csg exclusion zone (that is in addition to the 2k zones already established around communities of 2 thousand or more).

2. Bentley gas rig is not csg it"s conventional gas

3. We have banned holding ponds

4. Santos have a policy that they are not going anywhere where they are not welcome; landholders have the right to refusal of access

I shall send him these statements asking for further information and sources. He also said EPA Act (environmental protection laws) do not cover mining. (Unfair!)

I brought out the "Fractured Country" movie by Brendan Shoebridge and he agreed to watch 5 minutes of it. We stood in his secretary"s office watching it on her computer. He hung in there, and stood watching for the whole movie: 35 mins! I think his head was hanging in shame from the shock of what he was seeing.

At the end I congratulated him for hanging in there and presented him with a LTG badge. He was subdued. When the phone had rung during the movie they didn"t answer it. He didn"t share the Jaffas we"d brought, but.

After Olga talked about the Pilliga holding pond spill, Don said the NSW govt has banned CSG holding ponds. So when we"d watched the movie, Olga asked "what are the mining companies are going to do with the mega litres of poisoned water they pull up that cannot be cleaned". Don said he did not know and would get back to us on that.

Olga also asked with the water table level expected to drop by up to 7 meters in the Leard State Forest with the open cut coal mines "Won"t the entire forest die as the roots expect to access water at the level they are used to finding it at?" He did not answer.

Olga also mentioned an article from the New York Times saying the price of gas in America has dropped and many smaller mining companies have gone bankrupt and cannot afford the clean up – the clean-up costs are in the millions – they walk away leaving a mess of pipes and ruined ground etc that the govt/states have to spend heaps to clean up. Olga asked if the NSW govt will spend money to clean up. Don said he was concerned with that too. Olga left the article with him – he said he"d read it – said it would be interesting.

We left with warm fuzzies all round. I gave 2 more copies of the movies to Donna, the secretary, and she seemed touched.

If you"d like to go see the Don, raise your fears, questions or just let him know something, please call his Ballina office 66867522. He needs to know what"s important for community from community.


Villager reports nightmare
the throat dries up, dizziness, stomach aches, diarrhoea, wake up in the night & feel like my whole body"s been stung; feel it in the liver, spleen, heart, arms, legs, all over and now I always have the runs, am getting thinner. Poultry & kittens died in yard, they had the runs. Chemicals and hydrogen sulphide in the water, houses have cracks; sinkholes, earthquakes and the whole village is sinking. This is genocide, she said.

QUOTE: "Unless we change our direction we are likely to end up where we are headed" Old Chinese Proverb, "In the Tiger"s Mouth, an Empowerment Guide for Social Action" by Katrina Shields.

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