Gunnedah church leaders comment on the mining-farming issue

Gunnedah church leaders comment on the mining-farming issue

Caring for creation is a strong part of Christian tradition.

We believe that we are called to be wise stewards of the earth. In terms of our fragile planet, we are facing an ecological crisis. Respect for nature and ecological responsibility are key parts of our faith.

As communities of faith we stand in solidarity with those farmers who fear for their security and future way of life at this time. We also understand the contribution of mining and the generation of electricity to economic activity in our region.

We have a particular perspective on development, which centres on the human person, the family and the community. When we consider future planning or development, our primary question would be “What is happening to the PEOPLE?” rather than “What is happening to the ECONOMY?”

With a growing population, we believe it is important to protect land that has a history of sustainable food production.

We have concerns that the proposed coal mines and coal seam gas fields will have an irreversible damaging impact on the soil, water, environment and people of our region.

For generations farmers of our district have produced food for the wider Australian and international communities. They have adapted their practices to ensure that future families can also live from and with the land.

Our hope is that decisions made on the future use of these areas are based on the common good of all humanity.

We have great concerns about the impact of some proposed mining activity on prime productive agricultural land and high conservation value forests in our region.

We support calls for a Strategic Regional Land Use Plan to clearly identify areas that could be mined and others, which should be kept strictly for sustainable agriculture and food production and high conservation areas.

We believe it is essential that our water resources are protected. We also want to see important natural areas placed off-limits to mining.

By Gunnedah Catholic Priest, Fr Ron Perrett and Liverpool Plains Uniting Church Minister the Rev. John Brentnall, also Gunnedah Christian Outreach Pastor Neville Mammen, with the support of the Gunnedah Catholic and Quirindi-Werris Creek Uniting Church Councils and Christian Outreach Centre Church Board (accompanied by an additional statement by Pastor Neville Mammen).

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