By Meadhbh Bolger
Thanks to all of you who came and joined Sunday’s awesome “Farmers against Fracking” rally!
If you missed out (do not fear, there will be plenty more opportunities to be part of the campaign!), here’s the low-down of what happened – hundreds of farmers and locals from Gippsland and rural Victoria descended on Melbourne, joining their city supporters to march the streets. Colour, costume, chanting and tunes were a-plenty as the protesters, led by the Riff Raff Radical marching band, passionately paraded, demanding a total ban on all new coal and unconventional gas projects in Victoria. MC Rod Quantock kicked things off at the State Library before speeches from Gippsland locals, including beef farmer Tanya Brown and Seaspray primary school teacher Kirra Boulton. Check out the photos from the day here.
A 10,000 signature petition was then presented to Greg Barber MLC, who is tabling it in Parliament today. We got some great media coverage on ABC and Channel 7 news, multiple radio stations, ABC online and importantly inlocal Gippsland media! In fact, our voices were even too loud for Energy and Resources Minister, Nick Kotsiras, to ignore. In response to the rally, he promised he would undertake extensive community consultations before making a decision on lifting the current moratorium on fracking in Victoria. This means that the moratorium may remain in place for months to come, giving us a crucial window to build mass awareness, momentum and pressure both in the city and in regional Victoria.
The fight is far from won. If Government and industry have their way, our beautiful Victorian countryside will no longer be. NOW is the time to GET INVOLVED and help us say goodbye to dirty fossil fuels forever! You can also make a contribution to the campaign and help us continue the fight against the expansion of the coal and gas industries in Victoria. All donations over $2 are tax deductible.
Sunday marked a massive step forward for the growing Australia-wide movement against the expansion of coal and gas mining. It brought the issue close to home for city dwellers, raising awareness that this is not just an issue affecting locals who live close to mine sites, but that techniques like fracking pose great risk of contaminating Melbourne’s water and food supply, not to mention the broader impacts that coal and gas mining have on climate change.
We thank you for your continuing support and look forward to fighting alongside you for a cleaner, healthier future for all Victorians.