Local farmers in the Liverpool Plains of NSW have bought back land that was going to be turned into a coal mine – what a win!
Over 16,000 hectares of rich agricultural land in northern NSW’s Liverpool Plains had been owned by Chinese mining giant, Shenhua, until last year when the NSW Government paid the company $100 million to not mine the place for coal (ehhhhh what?).
Since then, the land has been bought back by 12 local farming families and one corporate body for $120 million, bringing stability and relief to the community.
Rather than digging an open cut mine, the land will now be used for crop and livestock production.
‘To have it back now in local hands, to have family farmers again owning that land in a sustainable way that we know is going to be able to ensure the future of future generations of farmers … that’s extremely satisfying,’ said Fiona Simson, Liverpool Plains farmer and president of the National Farmers Federation.
Ms Simson was a part of the Lock the Gate campaign advocating to stop the open-cut mine since its inception and says that the Liverpool Plains is tremendously rich farming land, with conditions ripe for a range of farming.
‘Not only does it have an amazing temperate climate where we can grow both summer and winter crops and any type of livestock you can imagine, we also have an amazing underground water system, of sustainable high-quality water,’ Ms Simson said.
We’ll take farmland over mines any day of the week.
Feature photo thanks to Kate Ausburn