FOR more than 20 years NSW state governments have been winding back the rights of communities to protect their land, water and future.
The Mining Act and other legislation and policy frameworks have been altered to advantage the needs of the resource extraction industries.
At every turn, whatever the damage or permanent loss to our vital ecosystems and living conditions, the mining industry has trumped against the health and wellbeing of people, communities and the environments they need to live in.
The contempt shown for people has now come to boiling point within communities across NSW and Australia.
When a government calls our farmers, nurses, doctors, communities, business people and teachers “eco-fascists”, when they hammer us with severe draconian laws to stop our democratic rights to peacefully protest, are we not now entitled to ask if we’re in a system of fascist government ourselves?
Fascism is defined as “an authoritarian and nationalistic right-wing system”, “forcibly suppressing opposition and criticism”, “in which the government controls business and labor and opposition is not permitted”.
It might not be fascism, but you would be sorely mistaken to think that industry does not rule the government decision-making process.
People across NSW who care about health, water, climate change and a liveable future will not stop protesting. Farmers who care for our land will not stop protecting our food and water security. Health professionals will not stop advocating and professionally lobbying for our rights to a healthy environment. The whole state is awake now to the collusion and culpability of governments and industry.
There’s a word I want everyone to be using, culpability, defined as “a state of guilt or responsibility”, with those culpable “deserving to be blamed or considered responsible for something bad”.
Tens of thousands of ordinary people are sick of the imbalance between corporations and people. We are sick of the harms being done to our communities. We are sick of the wilful ignorance of government regarding the destructive impacts from mining and coal seam gas extraction. We are heartsick and physically sick from years of trying to protect our basic needs – water and food. We are now holding the government and industry accountable, and they don't like it.
So now they roll out the big guns against anyone who dares to question or stand up within our democratic right to protect what is fundamentally vital to our lives.
The people of NSW now face the proposed “Inclosed Lands, Crime and Law Enforcement Legislation Amendment (Interference) Bill 2016” which is a travesty of people’s rights.
Is that going to stop farmers protecting their land? Mothers protecting their children? People protecting their air, water and environments?
We are going to hold governments accountable. We will show their culpability for the harms caused by their disregard for science, the health of our people and the life systems we rely on. They have been given all the information they need to stop the destruction and transition to a cleaner, renewable economy.
The NSW State Government, the resource extraction industries and all those involved in decision-making that has and will result in harms to our communities, are culpable.