Farmers on horseback joined over 5000 fellow protesters in Sydney’s CBD over the weekend taking the message of environmental sustainability to the door of the Berejiklian Government.
The protest not only marked one year until the next election, but also the two year anniversary of Bingara farmer Glenn Morris’ historic one man horse ride protest over the Harbour Bridge.
While the protest was led by a large group of First Nations people, including a large local Gomeroi contingent, Mr Morris led the horse brigade at the back as the march moved down Elizabeth Street to Parliament House.
Mr Morris called for a ban on coal seam gas and mining to focus on sustainability.
“There is devastation because of climate change all across NSW,” he said.
"We can't afford to destroy any more healthy land."
Breeza farmer John Hampersum, his wife Nicole, and two of his sisters flew the banner for the Liverpool Plains.
“There were people from everywhere, it was good to get support over such a big area,” Mr Hamparsum said.
“I think what impacted me most was how many different areas have the same issues, and there are so many people being affected by these new coal mines and so many different regional representatives and sometimes you feel like you’re all alone and then you realise there are heaps of people in the same predicament.
“I think it was a great show of community. It was time to choose and I think a lot of people wanted to make a statement.”
Georgina Woods from the Lock The Gate Alliance said that the protest was putting members of the NSW Government on notice.
“NSW is at a crossroads,” she said.
“We can have a future of productive land, clean and secure water and air, reliable clean and affordable energy, but that bright future is at risk from coal and coal seam gas mining that damages farmland - It’s time to choose.”
Nature Conservation Council Chief executive Kate Smolski said the Berejiklian Government is squandering a clean energy jobs and investment bonanza and, in doing so, failing to tackle climate change.
“We have one of the most coal dependent energy systems in the world, with 79% of our electricity coming from coal,” she said.
“The transition from coal and gas to solar, wind and storage will attract $25 billion of investment, the construction of about 2,500 wind turbines and installation of more 42 million solar panels across the state.”
“It’s a big job, but making the NSW electricity system 100% renewable is 100% doable.
“The only thing missing is strong political leadership.”