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Greens and Farmers Join Forces Against Coal Seam Gas

The Australian Greens and NSW farmer Penny Blatchford are calling on the old parties to support the Greens' campaign to give landholders the right to say no to coal seam gas mining on their land.

Australian Greens Leader Senator Christine Milne said Tony Abbott, Warren Truss and Julia Gillard were refusing to stand up for landholders who don't want coal seam gas mining on their land.

"When it's politically convenient, Tony Abbott tells farmers that mining companies shouldn't be allowed on their land when they're not wanted, but then does nothing about it in Canberra," Senator Milne said.

"Penny Blatchford has been leading the no CSG campaign in north-west NSW where farmers have locked the gate to stop mining companies marching onto their land.

"She wanted to meet with Tony Abbott to discuss her concerns but apparently he doesn't have any space in his diary before the election. How can he not have 30 minutes to spare between now and 14 September?

"This is further proof the Liberals and Nationals have abandoned farmers on this issue and it's time they threw their support behind our legislation to give landholders the right to say no to CSG."

Penny, who owns 7,000 hectares at Gurley and Bellata, is one of 84 landholders on the Moree Plains who have refused to sign access agreements to allow mining companies to carry out drilling and exploration on their land.

"Although we have locked the gate, we still do not have the legal power to stop mining companies coming onto our land," Penny said.

"This is our future at stake here. We should have the right to protect our land and water for our children and grandchildren and all the other generations that come after that.

"This is why we support the Greens' campaign and I urge all Federal politicians to help get this legislation over the line so we can say no to CSG."

Greens mining spokesperson Senator Larissa Waters will move an amendment for landholder rights in the Senate.

"If Tony Abbott is serious about giving landholder rights against coal seam gas, his Senators will support my amendment," Senator Waters said.

"If not, it'll be clear that Tony Abbott is trying to fool farming communities and is putting the big mining companies first again.

"The Greens are the only party standing up against the big mining companies to protect Australian farmers from coal seam gas."

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