OUTSPOKEN senator Jacqui Lambie will feature in a mass convoy of tractors rumbling from Gunnedah to Breeza next week in protest at Shenhua Watermark’s proposed coal mine.
The high-profile politician will join with farmers, environmentalists, Indigenous leaders and concerned citizens from across the New England North West in expressing their opposition to the mine.
The event – coinciding with AgQuip – is the brainchild of the Liverpool Plains Youth group, which comprises young residents fearful that the $1.7 billion open-cut coal mine will threaten their future on the land.
Spokeswoman Sarah Hubbard said the group was delighted to have the support of Ms Lambie, who has been a vocal critic of the proposed coal mine at Breeza since it earned federal government approval last month.
The Tasmanian-based senator famously released a video after the decision taunting federal Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce for failing to intervene and halt the controversial project. “Yes Barnaby, I agree with you: it is ridiculous that you would have a mine in the middle of Australia’s best agricultural land,” she said.
“But what’s even more ridiculous is that we’ve got a local member who’s also [the] minister for agriculture, and has allowed this to happen on his watch.”
Ms Hubbard said the convoy of tractors and other vehicles would set off from the Donnelly Playing Fields at 1pm on Friday, August 21, stopping at Watermark on the way to Gunnedah. She said both Mr Joyce and Tamworth MP Kevin Anderson had been invited to ride along, but were unavailable due to prior commitments.
“Essentially it’s all about protecting the Liverpool Plains,” she said. “We are all coming together to show our support.
“We thought it was the best way to get our message across because we’re an agriculture-based community and tractors are symbolic of that.”
For more information, contact Ms Hubbard on 0438 679 996.