The Hastings region was well represented at the successful rally in Sydney held on May Day against the state government’s new land planning regulations.
The Camden Haven Anti Fracking Group (CHAFG) had representatives at the rally which was organised by NSW Farmers Association, Country Womens Association & Lock the Gate.
Convenor, Mr Ian Oxenford, said, “ the mood of the estimated 8,000 people in attendance was one of ‘patience worn thin’, with both the past and present state governments not listening to the pleas of farmers and landholders to save their land from the ravages of coal seam gas.”
He said, “the Farmers Association president, Fiona Simson, was a brilliant orator with her first hand experience of coal seam gas and the state President of the Country Womens Association stated that this was the first time in their history that they had taken part in a street rally.”
Bus travel to the rally was organised by the Manning Alliance, a Wingham based group focussing on stopping coal seam gas development in the Manning and beyond. CHAFG actively supports groups fighting against coal seam gas in our neighbouring districts.
During the march from Martin Place to Parliament House the banner of the Camden Haven Anti Fracking Group became a gathering point for those from, or with an active interest, in the Hastings. This included local university students now studying in Sydney, along with Sydney residents with holiday homes in the Hastings or who regularly holiday here, said Mr Oxenford.
Deputy Premier, Andrew Stoner, was heckled and booed by the crowd as he spoke of ‘’balanced existence’’ between farming and coal seam gas. “Clearly the jury is out with rural landholders as far as coal seam gas is concerned and they are not having a bar of it,” said Mr Oxenford.