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Monday, October 3, 2011

Home Sweet Home - Friday 30 September

After 2 months away we returned home today.
 Ahhhhh - Paradise!

We have to unpack and sort out the house and property after being away for so long. The ride-on gets delivered on Tuesday from the mower repairer, the water pump needs work and the pklace needs a general clean up so we will be busy for a few days.

After that we will process what the trip has meant to us and what we have achieved.

We'll keep you informed.

Michael & Julie

Armidale - Thursday 29 September

We arrived in a cold and windy Armidale to find a great reception at the Armidale Bowling Club.

Despite Armidale not being covered by a CSG exploration licence (PEL) about 75-80 people attended the meeting.

In addition to Michael's presentation Carmel Flint gave a great presentation about the impact of coal seam gas mining on the Pilliga State Forest.

There was a very interactive seesion afetr the presentations tat included a Q&A session as well as suggestions for further actions.

It was a great final community meeting for our Defend Our Water speaking tour.

Michael & Julie

Richmond - Wednesday 28 September

We are having difficulty administering the blog ... for several days I have tried to update the blog and still can't get into the general admin functions.

We had a small but keen group attend the meeting we set up for Richmond.

Afetr the meeting we headed notrh for our last community meeting. We got to Muswellbrook at 2am and curled up in the van outside a friend's place.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

What can I do??? - Sunday 25 September

Along the way one of the most frequently asked questions has been "What can I do to help stop CSG?"

Besides participating in the National Day of Action on Sunday 16 October there are many things that individuals can do to help the cause.

Julie put together a list of 20 things that individuals can do. Here is the list:

1.           Paint banners & put them on fences

2.           Write to Barry O’Farrell

3.           Organise local rallies and other media events

4.           Wear anti-CSG T-Shirt (constantly)

5.           Put a sign in the window of your car

6.           Join a local Action Group

7.          Write letters to local and other newspapers

8.           Meet with your local MP

9.           Lobby your local council

10.         Donate $$$ to Lock The Gate Alliance

11.         Get local sponsors

12.         Fundraising

13.         Spread the word – print & distribute brochures

14.         Write to ALL major political parties. Tell them you don’t want CSGM.

              Ask them “Do you want me to vote for the Greens?”

15.         Whatever your political persuasion, support the Greens in their stance against CSGM.

16.         Join Lock The Gate Alliance. Be a part of the biggest lobby group against CSGM. Know that   People Power does work.

17.         Gather support – speak to local community groups eg Rotary etc.

18.         Stand up for clean renewable energy

19.         Make your voice heard loud and clear

             “Not only do we not want CSG – We will not have it!”
       20.        Donate $$$ to GetUp! to help the advertising campaign

Send us your comments with additional suggestions.

Michael & Julie

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Blacktown - Saturday 24 September

Braving a cold, overcast, almost raining morning about 70 local residents gathered at the Blacktown Village Green to express their concern about plans by Dart Energy and AGL to drill in the local area.
Residents start to gather just before 9am

Dart are planning to drill core holes near Prospect Reservoir, part of Western Sydney's water supply, and AGL are drilling near Schofield, between Blacktown and Richmond.

As an old Blacktown boy I find these plans particularly disturbing.
Michael speaks to the crowd. Also in the photo is Ben who organised the gathering.
Part of the 70 strong crowd
A good number of those attending signed up to be part of the local Blacktown Residents Against CSG group. We look forward to hearing of their activities.

Michael & Julie

Kangaroo Valley - Friday 23 September

We braved the Hume Highway for the drive south. There had been a big truck accident and the traffic was moving at a crawl.

We arrived at the Kangaroo Valley Hall about 20 minutes before the meeting was scheduled to start to a warm reception.

I was very glad they had a mic set up as my voice is still not the best becuause of the flu.

We had a smallish but appreciative group of locals. I don't think the start of the school holidays actually helped us.
There was lots of lively discussion and a core group of locals decided to work together to form a local group to carry on the campaign.

It was well worth the drive, even if we did get back to Sydney at midnight.

Michael & Julie

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Sydney - Channel 7 came calling

Channel 7 came out yesterday and did lots of filming of us and the Frack Cave (the caravan) and us in the Frack Cave and interviewed us about plans by Dart Energy to start exploration activities in Western Sydney.

They put a good item to air.
Channel 7 News Report

We also found out today that AGL have plans to drill at Schofields.

We spent today putting up posters and handing out brochures at Richmond and Windsor for Saturday's rally and a community meeting we are organising at Richmond next Wednesday.

Michael & Julie

Monday, September 19, 2011

Sydney - St Peters Protest- Sunday 18 September

We headed off early to make sure we could park the van near Sydney Park for the rally at the end of the march from Camperdown.

Along with others we set up our stall only to be bufeted by howling winds gudting through the park. On group's cabana anded up in the lake and had to be fished out.

It was all worth it though as we saw the marchers approach through the park.
It was even better with the noise

Speakers included Michael, Simon Sheikh from GetUp and Jeremy Buckingham.

There would have been about 1,500 people there.

Michael & Julie

Friday, September 16, 2011

Sydney - Green Day - Friday 16 September

We decided to go into the city to enjoy some of the "green" delights on offer.

We managed to sample two.

First - we visited Jeremy Buckingham's office at Parliament House.

It was interesting as we went through Security in our No Fracking T-shirts. They told us that we could not wear "protest" T-shirts inside Parliament House. We pointed out that Julie only had a bra under hers. Because I had mine on over my shirt they asked if I could take mine off, turn it inside out and let Julie wear it. The things we do!

When we got up to Level 11 Justin and Jeremy made us feel very welcome.

Julie tried out Justin's chair to see how it felt.
Julie in charge - with a little help from Justin.

What??? You want your chair back???
 Second - we visited the Royal Botanic Gardens.

By this time I had my T-shirt back
It was great to spend a couple of hours wandering through a green island in the heart of the city.

Out T-shirts attracted some interest and two women engaged us in conversation. One was from ballina and the other from Mullumbimby. We had to laugh!

Michael & Julie

Parramatta - You can't go back! But surprises happen. - Thursday 15 September

Julie had not been to Westfield Parramatta for 30 years so we decided to go in for "Thursday Night Shopping".

We lasted about 10 minutes in Westfield and then went for a walk through (and beyond) Church Street Mall.

Trying to find a reasonably priced dinner in Parramatta was looking increasingly unlikely when we came across a small cafe at the end of a block.

The Mars Hill cafe tags itself as "Where thinkers drink". It is focussed on ethical business practices, supporting artists and musicians to have a performance space, fair trade and supporting people to develop relevant work skills in a supportive community environment.
Mars Hill cafe
We spoke with Mark, the manager. He described what the cafe is about and gave us the contact details for Kevin (who got it all started). We are catching up with Kevin on Saturday.

We arranged to drop off some Defend Our Water brochures and a poster advertising the St Peters protest on Sunday (18/9). We also donated two T-shirts ... one each of  "Don't frack the earth" and "Don't frack with me" for staff to wear.

It was a pleasant surprise to see an expression of "community" in the heart of the city. Maybe there is hope after all!

Michael & Julie