‘CSG fight turns feral’; this was the big bold headline in the Sentinel-Times (October 28, page 1).
As one of the many concerned members of our community present at the council meeting where Cr Andrew McEwen presented a Notice of Motion seeking stronger action from council regarding the exclusion of CSG mining in South Gippsland, I was at first puzzled, and then offended.
Who is Michael Giles calling “feral”?
A bunch of middle-aged local people who are concerned that there will be no decent land left to grow our food on if the mining industry moves in on us?
Ordinary people. Grandparents. Farmers. Peaceful people driven to frustration that our local representatives will not move to protect our beautiful agricultural land.
It makes me want to weep. As I have when I see what the CSG industry has done to destroy the countryside in Queensland and New South Wales.
It takes no prisoners. When the land is drilled, mined and fracked, it doesn’t regenerate. The water table is contaminated. The water itself becomes flammable. There is noise and dust and the roads are filled with constant truck and machinery traffic.
Call me sentimental, call me soft-hearted. But don’t call me feral. And don’t dismiss my fears when the evidence is right in front of us. Ask a Queensland farmer. Or a NSW wine-grower.
Ask a lot of ordinary people who have been driven out of their homes, who have to live off the family farm because their children are suffering abnormal respiratory problems.
Ask landowners who can’t sell their properties because no-one wants to live next door to hundreds of gas wells.
OK. Call me angry. Call me outraged and disbelieving. Maybe even an animal instinct that drives me to want to protect my family against invaders.
But really, Michael Giles, just because you own the newspaper doesn’t give you the right to call me feral. You don’t know me. And you insult all the good people who are standing up to protect our farms, our tourism, our way of life.
Thank you. I feel better now. But not feral.
Kate Jackson, Mirboo North.