Independent MP Justin Field has today given notice in the NSW Legislative Council of a Bill to protect the Bylong Valley from future mining or gas development. The Mining Amendment (Right to Farm the Bylong Valley) Bill will seek to prevent future mining or coal seam gas exploration or development in the Bylong Valley, protecting the farming value of the valley for the future.
The proposed Bill follows the recent decision by the Independent Planning Commission to refuse Kepco’s Bylong Coal Project. Bylong Valley farmers have also launched an advertising campaign for permanent protection from mining, criticising what they have described as an ‘insulting’ campaign by the NSW Minerals Council and calling on the NSW Government to protect the Bylong Valley.
Independent NSW MP Justin Field said, “This bill is simple. It seeks to ensure the Bylong Valley is never mined and is protected for its value as a food producing valley. The Bylong community have faced uncertainty over mining and gas proposals for over a decade. It’s time they had certainty for their future so farmers can reinvest in their properties knowing they won’t face future mining and gas proposals.
“I remember visiting the Tarwyn Park property, the home of Natural Sequence Farming, back in 2012. That this shining example of regenerative farming had to be sold to a coal company is a real indictment on the failures of NSW laws to protect important agricultural land. This bill is an opportunity to turn things around in the valley and to recognise that quality food producing land and the water it relies on should be protected from mining.