CSG protest heads for Sydney
DIRTGIRL has put her foot down.
For the first time in her illustrious career, the international children's TV starlet will take a political stand on an environmental issue - coal-seam gas (CSG).
Dirtgirl creators Cate McQuillen and Hewey Eustace will hit the road this morning with dirtgirl in toe to join an expected mass gathering of anti-CSG protesters in Sydney tomorrow for a rally at Parliament House over the NSW Government's recently released draft Regional Landuse Policy.
"Dirtgirl is a sustainable farmer and she's an eco-warrior," said proud mum Ms McQuillen last night from her Whiporie home.
"She needs to stand shoulder to shoulder with the people of the Northern Rivers who have always loved and supported her."
Ms McQuillen said she was planning on making an appearance outside the Channel 7 Sunrise studios in Martin Pl early tomorrow to draw attention to the rally.
"This is an important issue; they can't guarantee water security and water is such a precious thing," she said.
Led by the NSW Farmers Association, the rally has received widespread support from farmers, conservationists and business groups and is expected to attract a historic crowd from at least 16 community groups and the general public.
Among those signing up for the rally are the Country Women's Association, GetUp!, Lock the Gate and Stop CSG Sydney.
Locally, dozens of members of the Clarence Valley Against CSG Mining are expected to attend, joining potentially thousands from the Northern Rivers.
Northern Rivers protesters will gather on the steps of the National Library at 11am before moving to Martin Pl for the rally.
NSW Farmers president, Fiona Simson, said before the election, the Liberal and National Party Coalition promised a strong and clear land-use plan to restore balance and certainty; to protect our land and water resources and to identify areas where mining can and can't occur.
"The NSW Government's draft policy has pulled up short on delivery," Ms Simson said.
Clarence MP Chris Gulaptis said last night he expected the state's moratorium on hydraulic fracturing, which is due to end tomorrow, would be extended to allow the results of an Upper House inquiry into CSG to be handed down.
"I'd be disappointed if the moratorium wasn't extended," Mr Gulaptis said.
"We need to ensure the water supply is safe."