ENVIRONMENTALIST groups from across the North West will meet with about 30 state politicians over the next three days to raise their concerns on coal and gas mining expansion.
About eight representatives from the North West Alliance of green-groups involved in past campaigns, forums, protests and blockades against the industry in the region will travel to Sydney today.
It’s a chance for the groups to be heard in State Parliament and have some sway over policy.
The long-awaited Strategic Regional Land Use Plan that caused major debate across the state when its draft form was released earlier this year is expected to take up most of their time in the discussions.
The Aquifer Interference Policy and Health Impact Assessment and the Gunnedah Basin health study launched at public forums in Gunnedah and Quirindi last month are also expected to be discussed at length.
North West Alliance spokesperson and Maules Creek landholder Phil Laird said one of their goals was to intervene at a political level and the meetings with several ministers and parliamentarians would facilitate that.
Of the region’s land use plan, Mr Laird said it had been locked up in cabinet for some time and they were expecting some visibility with what it would bring down the line.
“We’re looking to nail down a final date for a meeting with Deputy Premier Stoner to discuss that,” he said.
Another goal of the alliance was to begin a health study of the impacts of the industry and the issue is expected to be discussed with Health Minister Jillian Skinner and Mental Health Minister and Member for Barwon Kevin Humphries.
All up, the alliance expects to meet with about 30 politicians from all parties to raise their concerns.
Mr Laird said they would take some of the region’s local produce, such as Bellata Gold Pasta, and seedlings of a local plant to highlight the risk mining posed on agriculture and the environment in the region.
He also anticipated a few unorganised meetings with other politicians and thanked Member for Tamworth Kevin Anderson for organising some of the discussions.