QUEENSLAND singer Katie Noonan has put a Federal politician in his place during a fiery debate over the impacts coal seam gas mining is having on farmers.
The ABC hosted its Q&A panel in Toowoomba on Monday night and heard from the daughter of a Chinchilla farmer who recently took his own life following a ten-year battle with coal companies.
“One of the last things my father said: ‘No one is listening, why are you wasting my time?'” Helen Bender told the panel from the audience.
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“You are a turntable, you walk in, walk out, you talk the talk, you are just here for show. You are not listening.”
Labor MP Joel Fitzgibbon responded by explaining the “the extraction of those resources are too significant to the national economy”. He was booed by the audience and Ms Bender shook her head with disbelief.
He added that the issue was ‘state-based’.
“I’m sorry but I think that’s a cop out,” Noonan replied.
“To me it seems so incredibly stupid on so many levels,” Ms Noonan added – to applause.
“This state government has let everyone down for years and passing this off to a state problem is a cop out – it’s a national problem.
“We can’t survive without farmers. Farmers aren’t allowed to say ‘no’ to these multinational companies that come into their land that they’ve had for generations.
“They don’t know the health impacts they don’t know the water impacts. It is a matter of national importance.”
— ABC Q&A (@QandA) October 26, 2015
Rural Health Minister Fiona Nash went against her party’s policy and admitted farmers should have the right to say no. Ms Nash said she agreed that farmers should have the right to block CSG mining on their land.
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