Open the gates: Iris Ray Nunn comments

As always, when thinking about farmers being invaded by coal seam gas companies, I think also of our indigenous ancestors being invaded by farmers. So many First Nations' people stopped walking their Country, to their sacred sites, for fear of being threatened and shot at by farmers. Although farmers alive today are NOT personally responsible, and love and deeply respect the land, I believe they have a moral obligation to speak up about the historical fact that the land they live on was stolen in the first place via murderous force used by their ancestors. And to outwardly acknowledge the suffering and misery that this has caused to those that […]

I promise to put aside 'alarmist' language, if you promise to work with the possibilities: Iris Ray Nunn comments

By Iris Ray Nunn I just watched Oxford Uni's Head to Head on YouTube, a debate by world experts about whether human-made climate change was fact or fiction. It was interesting to hear a world-renowned sceptic on the subject, atmospheric scientist Richard Lindzen, admit that human-made climate change was 'possible'. One wonders why 'possible' is not enough to inspire action to 'possibly' avert catastrophe? Lindzen made a valid point when he said the environmental movement employed alarmist language to idealise the issue: 'Avert Catastrophe', 'Save the Planet', 'Our Planet is Dying'. He also stated that our movement only put forward what he called 'symbolic solutions': wind, solar, recycling, weak policies to reduce carbon emissions etc […]

On the turning away: Iris Ray Nunn comments on #leardblockade

It is four weeks since I went into the Leard State Forest and witnessed firsthand the widespread destruction of habitat in return for coal. In truth, I am still hurt, still angry. These difficult feelings tear at me because the desecration of our Earth continues – and I am aware that my existence, albeit simple, is still dependent on the wheel-of-harm.  So what do I do? Do I simply shut the contradiction out? Or do I, we, all of us, as Pink Floyd sings in the epic rock classic On the Turning Away: “Don't accept that what's happeningIs just a case of others' sufferingOr you'll find that you're joining inThe turning away.” When I returned shaken and disturbed from Leard, […]

Campaign for the Pilliga – Iris Ray Nunn reports

[clear] By Iris Ray Nunn It was a restless night for Wilderness Society campaign manager Naomi Hogan last night, after she discovered that Santos Mining had quietly entered the Pilliga State Forest to start exploratory drilling for coal seam gas. Santos has approval from the NSW State Government to drill nine wells in the Pilliga, as a part of the Narrabri Gas Project – there are at least another 36 sites to come. “I’m disappointed, because I feel locals were relying on me to keep them informed about the movement of the rig,” said Naomi. “Now it appears the rig is in, we have to make a decision about whether […]

The crocodile is rising: Iris Ray Nunn reports from the Pilliga

  By Iris Ray Nunn An historical event in the East Pilliga forest on the weekend saw farmers, environmentalists and overseas visitors come together with local Gomeroi Elders and their descendants to learn about the sacred significance of the Leard and Pilliga (Billiga) forests, and why it is of vital importance to protect these sites from further destruction caused by coal and coal seam gas mining. Elders united on Saturday to take a stand about coal seam gas mining in the Pilliga (Billiga), and to plant powerful seeds in the minds of the people present about how, when they deliberately focus on respecting and understanding Gomeroi culture – story – […]

Who locks the gate in a state forest? by Pilliga reporter Iris Ray Nunn

  By Iris Ray Nunn “We could make some money out of this pipeline Quincy.” This is what Narrabri grazier David Quince's neighbour said to him back in 2010. The neighbour had been visited by a consultant for Eastern Star Gas. The company chairman at the time was former deputy Prime Minister John Anderson. In November 2011, Santos Mining purchased Eastern Star Gas. Santos now owns the right to explore sections of the Pilliga State Forest for coal seam gas. If gas is found in the quantities expected, a vast amount of the largest inland forest in NSW will be turned into a gas field. The Pilliga Gas Fields. “Coal seam […]

#CSG – a statement of sovereignty by Pilliga reporter Iris Ray Nunn

  By Iris Ray Nunn I believe the most important issue emerging from the coal seam gas invasion is not necessarily the water, the air or the land as such, it is about changing the law of this land. Too long we have seen the law – that we are meant to obey and respect – serve the interests of a few while many, many more suffer. This law is not fair and just, and neither does it care for all of life. The truth is, there is only one law on this good Earth: do no harm. People speak of sovereignty. What does this mean? I am beginning to […]

Pilliga protectors and protesters – Iris Ray Nunn reports

  By Iris Ray Nunn – Pilliga reporter ‘Big rig arrives to begin work’ heralded the local Narrabri paper, The Courier, last week. The paper proudly reported that Santos had resumed exploratory drilling in the Pilliga and went on to state that ‘the last meeting of Narrabri Shire Council heard an overview of Santos’ plans and progress which paints a picture of a major industry on Narrabri’s doorstep’. Driving through the Narrabri region on the same day the paper hit the newsstands, one would assume there was little or no resistance to plans to industrialise the local landscape. Santos rents a shiny shop frontage in the main street that is staffed […]