Coal Rocks On, Features

Bylong farmers protest KEPCO mine outside Sth Korean embassy

Fossil Fool Bulletin • 29 October 2019

Fed-up farmers, their friends, and some farm animals descended on the South Korean Embassy in Canberra last Friday (October 25) to politely present what’s at stake if the Korean government-owned corporation KEPCO doesn’t relinquish its mining titles in the beautiful Bylong Valley.

They set up a pen with sheep and hay, while chanting “no coal in Bylong” in Korean.

The visit follows the launch of a TV ad in which farmers from the valley call on the NSW Government to preserve the Bylong Valley in perpetuity from the threat of mining.

KEPCO’s coal plans were recently knocked back by the NSW Independent Planning Commission, triggering strident coal lobby demands to get rid of the commission and have politicians make decisions on mine applications.

Bylong farmer Phillip Kennedy called on the Korean Government to pressure KEPCO into selling the properties it purchased in the lead up to the mine being rejected.

“This valley was once a thriving community, but now there are only a small group of us left still working the land,” he said.

“We want the valley to return to what it once was, and KEPCO can help achieve that by selling the properties it has purchased and abandoning the coal exploration titles it holds.”

Among the properties still held by KEPCO is the renowned Tarwyn Park – the birthplace of natural sequence farming in Australia. Its founder, Peter Andrews, attended the rally.

Lock the Gate spokesperson Nic Clyde said Tarwyn Park held the key to drought-proofing much of Australia.

“Unfortunately, we have seen evidence suggesting KEPCO has not continued natural sequence farming at the property since it purchased it,” he said.

“It is vital that Tarwyn Park be transformed into the living laboratory it once was before KEPCO came to the Bylong Valley.

“We congratulate the Republic of Korea on increasing their targets for renewable energy and encourage them to make that a reality by abandoning the Bylong coal project” he said.

• See the TV ad here:

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