Everyone has the right to be protected from harm

Greens candidate for Northern Tablelands Mercurius Goldstein responds to criticisms of theGreens’ environmental policies outlined in his Letters to the Editor.

The right to invite people onto your land is beside the point – you also have a right to smoke, but that doesn’t mean it’s a good idea.

Others also have a right to be protected from the harmful effects of your smoking – so the real issue here is what kind of activity on your land would prove damaging to your neighbours, possibly yourself and your family and in broader terms to the long-term viability of agricultural production in NSW.

Some producers in the USA and Queensland have found that inviting CSG companies onto their land is like inviting a vampire – hard to get rid of once they’ve overstayed their welcome and sucked everything dry.

Greens will advocate for the prime agricultural land of the Gunnedah Basin to the Queensland border to be protected from extractive industries, including coal and coal seam gas mining, protecting the value of the agricultural land that you, and all of us, depend upon for our food, fibre and in many cases our income.

One new industry Greens are excited about is the investment, jobs and growth that come from renewable energy.

Landholders might be interested to read about the $100+ million in capital invested in the Moree Solar Farm – that’s over half a million dollars per hectare!

And yes, it is Greens’ policy for landholders to be adequately compensated if their land is found to be unsuitable for farming due to its ecological value.

It’s also important that land-holders who preserve or increase the biodiversity of their land will receive financial incentives, pricing mechanisms, educational services and/or compensation as appropriate, because they are providing a public benefit through their contribution to the biodiversity of NSW land and waterways.

After the holiday period, I’ll be able to provide more detail on the above matters at NSW Farmers Meet The Candidates events to be held around the region in February and March.

But for now, enjoy the summer rains and hope to meet you in the New Year.

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