On the first weekend of November 2015 a significant event took place on a farm near the small town of Breeza, NSW. More than 500 people gathered for the Liverpool Plains Harvest Festival– travelling from as far away as Melbourne and Airlie Beach – to learn more, and build resistance to the proposed Shenhua coal mine.
The project has been highly controversial and the resistance diverse. The support for the local farmers and inspiring female leaders of the Liverpool Plains Youth crosses party political divides – the event was attended by Greens MPs, ex member Tony Windsor, and Jacque Lambe.
With the black soil of the Liverpool plains being among the most fertile in the country, a growing chorus of people from across Australia have raised urgent concerns with our food bowl being trashed for a foreign owned company to dig up and profit from, as well as the appalling lack of regard for aboriginal cultural heritage with sacred sites Gomeroi sites set to be destroyed. Having lost so much that is precious to them with the Maules Creek coal mine, this time the local custodians are calling for a much earlier and stronger intervention to save their sites.
In a heartening reflection of the growing maturity of the climate movement in Australia, farmers from nearby properties and towns were joined by city environmentalists, families, retirees traditional custodians and many more varied folks.
We supported the nonviolent direct action training (and had a great time with our new favourite demographic – self described “red nomads” … people who want to use their retirement to be more radical), and this type of content was interspersed on the program with farm tours, koala expeditions, discussions on coal, finance, groundwater and cultural heritage as well as well attended political forum… and time for fun, with kids activities, barn dancing and good food.
Check out TV news, our photos here, and to take action, check here. There are some great photos and running commentary to scroll back through on twitter under #HarFest. You might also like to check out Flood the System and get involved with planning actions in capital cities in the lead up the Paris climate negotiations, and support the call for NO NEW COAL MINES in solidarity with our pacific neighbours.