Australia at #CSG war on home soil: Invoking ANZAC to back #BentleyBlockade and #Pilliga

Robin Mosman

Robin Mosman

I am 73 and have spent the past 33 years of my life co-ordinating resident and environmental actions on the NSW Central Coast and in the Blue Mountains. I've been involved in protesting coal mining and coal seam gas developments in the Blue Mountains.
Robin Mosman
- 2 years ago
Robin Mosman
On the coast, we stopped two international chemical companies from establishing in locations that would have put Tuggerah Lake at risk, and forced a third, Bayer Chemicals, to comply with NSW planning laws which they had flouted. In the Mountains, where I was president of the Blue Mountains Conservation Society for three years, we took the NSW government to court to stop an American film company from filming a war movie in Blue Mountains Wilderness. In the days when email was the only social media I started an email campaign with friends during John Howard's government to raise awareness of climate change.

Anzac-Day

Just after Anzac Day I saw a film clip from the Bentley Blockade near Lismore, where 2000 people had gathered to block access to coal seam gas mining company Metgasco.  In a misty dawn they had held their own Anzac memorial service.  After ‘Lest we forget’, the camera panned to an older country woman.  She said  “We’re fighting a cause as important as what our ancestors did”.

Then a Vietnam veteran, wearing the medals he hadn’t worn since that war ended, said  ”What we see happening here is not what they fought for”.  And I thought  “He’s right!”.  Most of the Anzacs were young men from country Australia.  One can imagine their total horror and disbelief at the destruction of their beloved countryside.


Video by @ParisandDarmin

Another older woman said “Because we have a crisis of democracy it actually creates what’s happening here.  It’s beyond just voting as a citizen.  We have to stand up for what we believe in.  We have a huge responsibility to uphold the freedom that they died for”.

And I started to make a connection that I hadn’t really seen before.

All the wars in which Australians have fought until now have been fought on foreign soils.  Australian civilians have never had to face the destruction and occupation of their own land in war.  Until now.

Because Australia is now at war.  Our country is being invaded and occupied by armies of largely foreign mining companies, who have come to our shores aided and abetted by our own political leaders, intent on gaining profit from our resources of coal and gas.

In the process, they will make our land unfit for food production.  They will pollute our water  –  our most precious commodity in the driest continent on earth.  They will make citizens forced to live near their gasfields sick, from pollution by the gases emitted.  They will make vast areas of our land unfit to live in, and destroy beautiful countrysides.  Images of the Tara gasfields in Queensland show the chilling evidence of the destruction they wreak.

Our governments are captives of the coal industry, they see only the short-term profits for the state.  Their laws support the industry.

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The only force now stopping these combined forces of industry and government in NSW is what can only be called a citizen army.  Thousands of ordinary Australians are putting their lives on hold, often at great personal cost, to stand up against this unconscionable attack on our land and water, and our lives.

At the Bentley blockade two thousand of them rallied, bracing themselves to stand against another army, this one of 800 police, threatened to be sent by their own government to break up the blockade.  The strength of their courage and commitment caused the government to back off; Metgasco’s license was suspended and the circumstances of the issuing of the license referred to the Independent Commission Against Corruption.  It seems there are suspicious links to some of the most corrupt politicians in NSW.

I have come to realize that the Australians standing against the appalling destruction of coal seam gas mining are the true Anzacs of this century.  The Bentley blockaders were the front line in an army of citizens who have organized as never before to fight this abominable industry.  There are many thousands more of us behind the lines, but make no mistake, the forces of corporate and government greed that we are fighting are formidable and inexorable.  They will keep on attacking.  Bentley may be a battle won, but there will be more battles.

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This is a war, and we ordinary Australians are the Anzacs of today, as much as any of our forces fighting on foreign soil.  We are fighting for our country, for the land and water of Australia, and we will never give up.

So join the army  –  do whatever it is that you can do  –  your country needs you!  With your help, we can win.


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Comments

  1. Colin Broadfoot says:

    Nicely put Robin. We are also fighting for the planet and lets not forget #leardblockade where biodiversity is under attack as we speak.

  2. Frances Jones says:

    I’ve known Robin Mosman for about 30 years. I’ve seen Robin work hard and fight and win. She is a kind and caring mother, grandmother, wife, friend, campaigner, reader, and gardener.

  3. Rosemary Nankivell says:

    Fantastic. Terrific insight into our basic rights.

  4. AMAZING COMMUNICATION, GUYS……PROUD TO HAVE SHARED IT!!!!…… <3

  5. Thank you so much for this wonderful insight and expressing what so many of us standing on the many battle grounds across our great southern land to stop the coal & gas companies from destroying what makes Australia great for a quick buck for Foreign profits and mess for generations to come. JUST NOT WORTH THE RISK! NVDR is the only way to stop this cancer spreading any further. If not U then WHO? If not NOW then WHEN? Don’t wait until they are already there you need to start now. Become a lock the gate “GateKeeper” http://www.lockthegate.org.au

  6. We face the same horrendous attack on beautiful land in the Southern Highlands NSW. Some people can not understand that once the land is ruined it is not coming back.
    Lucky this government have shown where their true affiliations lie … the is a tax break of 1million dollars provided only to new mining companies. You would think any sane person would provide these same rules to industries outside mining or heaven help .. renewables!
    We are lucky to have good organisations taking up a good fight & cause.
    The vandals are in power, it is time to share your voice. Collectively we stand, divided they will fall.