Tag Archives: Sydney basin agriculture

Massive protests in NSW against gas and mining exploration

Posted on 03. Apr, 2014 by .


Early on Monday 31 March 2014 morning, 2000 protectors  joined together at the Bentley Blockade just south of Lismore. This is unprecedented– and a massive difference to the first Lock the Gate blockade in March 2011 near Tara in Queensland when a small group of 25 people slept in tents!

The protestors want to stop gas miner Metgasco drilling on farmland and had news that 100 police from the riot squad were booked into Lismore motels to help the miner get started.  Although Metgasco called off work for today, the protestors will back tomorrow.

There was also another massive action on Monday 31 March 2014 up in the Leard Forest, near Narrabri on the Liverpool plains, with 82 people arrested for delaying Whitehaven’s forest clearing in preparation for the new Maules Creek coal mine. In addition to the three protestors who had locked on to equipment, the police also arrested all the other protestors for trespass (a statutory offence.)

This morning Lock the Gate also launched its new report  Railroaded on the impact of the proposed railway line from the Galilee Basin to Abbott Point in QLD. Radio National did do a story on this report but it was only late today that one mainstream newspaper finally reported on the strong community action and presence at Leard Blockade and Bentley Blockade.  However, social media went off with tweets and photos direct from the blockade site and this incredible live radio interview a Newcastle mother during the police arrests at Leard Blockade.






Monday 7 April, 6:30 PM 

With special guest speaker Liverpool Plains Farmer Rick Laird

Lane Cove Living and Learning Centre

18 Longueville Road, Lane Cove

Organised by Lane Cove Bushland and Conservation Society

Link to Facebook event



Tuesday 8 April, 7:00 PM 

With special guest speaker Liverpool Plains Farmer Rick Laird

Manly Library Meeting Room

1 Market Place, Sydney

Organised by Manly Environment Centre, 350.org and Lock the Gate

Link to Facebook event





Wednesday 9 April, 6:30 PM 

With special guest speaker Liverpool Plains Farmer Rick Laird

Sutherland Multi Purpose Centre

123 Flora Street, Sutherland

Organised by Stop CSG Sutherland and Sutherland Shire Environment Centre

Link to Facebook event


Sydney Food Fairness Alliance

The Hawkesbury area is one of the prime growing regions for fresh perishable vegetables for the Sydney market. Come and discuss a gasfield free community strategy to protect this.

Monday 14 April, 5:00 – 6.30pm 

Bennelong Room,  Level 4, Red Cross House, behind Sydney Town Hall, Sydney 2000

Entry: Go to LH entry of the two Red Cross sections of St Andrews House. Take a lift to the 4th floor – Bennelong room is just around to the right.

If you are after 5pm, the lifts won’t work and you need to ring Lisa on 0418 117 264 to get in.



FAIR DEAL or NO DEAL                                                                                  

Tuesday 29 April, 6:30 PM 

Sutherland Multi Purpose Centre

123 Flora Street, Sutherland

Organised by Stop CSG Sutherland and Sutherland Shire Environment Centre

Link to Facebook event

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What a great success!

Posted on 26. Sep, 2012 by .


The recent event “Sustainable Farming for a Sustainable City” held at Richmond was a great success! So thank you to all of you who helped with organising, promoting, and attending the event.  Over 130 people came to be part of a very engaged discussion.

A very special thanks to Liz Millen and Vivienne Reiner (both from SFFA) to bring all their support to the event.

Here is the link to the ABC Radio interview of Fred Haskins from NSW Farmers Association commenting on the challenges of city fringe farming.

Watch the videos of some of the keynote speakers.

Maarten Stapper’s presentation  makes the link between food systems, health and the importance of things such as community gardens in bringing back respect for the food and environment.

Julia McKay is Secretary of the national body of the Natural Sequence Association (NSA), is a lawyer, a farmer and a Natural Sequence Farming (NSF) practitioner.

We love to talk about Sustainable Sydney, but we don’t prioritise one of the mainstays of a sustainable city — our local, fresh and productive food supply.
Lynne Wilkinson — (Ausbuy) will put local food in the context of food security and food standards and ask the question: who do we want to feed us in the future?

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City-fringe farms crucial for food security

Posted on 14. Sep, 2012 by .


Safeguarding farms from urban sprawl and mining is crucial to minimise shortage-induced price hikes and to ensure we know our food is local and safe, a forum in Sydney’s premier food producing region will hear next week.

The forum will call for integrated state planning, a more inclusive national food plan and overseas purchase of land be subject to a national interest test.

It has been organised by the Sydney Food Fairness Alliance (SFFA) and NSW Farmers’ Region 7 which covers the greater Sydney metropolitan area and hinterland, accounting for almost all the farms and market gardens providing fresh food for the city.

NSW Farmers’ spokesperson and Sydney farmer Fred Haskins says: “Australia is currently experiencing a fruit and vegetable shortage and will have to rely on imports for at least another couple of months because of frost in Queensland and flooding in Victoria. This brings increased  biosecurity challenges such as foreign crop diseases. Our city is increasingly less able to feed itself and unless the metropolitan strategy plans are reversed and we give more support to our farmers, we can expect more price rises as half of the numerous small Sydney farms disappear to make way for houses within two decades.”

Water system pioneer Peter Andrews, who created Natural Sequence Farming will headline the panel just weeks after the . Andrews, who will give insights into water retention and purity using natural processes says it is crucial that research into the long-term effect of mining and drilling into aquifers be mandated before mining operations commence. “As a result of the Hunter and Bylong Valley mining, I believe we will see a toxic plume through the groundwater all the way to Newcastle because it is connected. With deep groundwater changes could disrupt systems that have been in place for 10,000 years or more,” he says.

Department of Primary Industries’ Murray Spicer will detail extensive survey work by the Department on agricultural lands in NSW. “Because of urban expansion and consumer demand for unseasonal food, Sydneysiders are increasingly eating food from north Queensland down to Victoria and South Australia as the season progresses rather than from Sydney Basin farms, “ says Spicer, who is the Department’s horticultural program leader.

Biodynamic farming consultant/ex-CSIRO scientist Maarten Stapper, from Canberra, will highlight the environmental and health imperatives for moving to a more sustainable farming model with less reliance on finite resources such as fuel, chemicals and synthetic fertilisers in a climate-affected and carbon pricing environment.

AusBuy CEO Lynne Wilkinson will stress the importance of knowing where our food comes from and supporting Australian agriculture and our relatively high food standards and land management. “There are chemicals still used overseas that are banned here which Australia no longer tests for because of budget cuts. So, increasingly we have to rely on the word of the people selling us their food. We are also diminishing our ability to produce our own food because of sales of agricultural land overseas. In Western Australia for example, Chinese interests are producing milk for their domestic consumption.”

For more info go to the event page and download the flyer with the details.

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New Metropolitan Strategy for Sydney

Posted on 26. Jun, 2012 by .


New Metropolian Strategy for Sydney for the next 20 years.


Have your say.

  • Download the discussion paper
  • Check out the dates for your area.

DOWNLOAD…  Key Dates

READ…  Sydney over the next 20 years  A  Discussion paper

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SFFA calls for policy to safeguard the future of NSW food

Posted on 22. Sep, 2010 by .


Late last year an alliance of consumers, health workers and sustainability advocates called on the NSW Government to establish an independent Food Policy Council to develop an integrated policy response to food security challenges.

In september 2010 the Sydney Food Fairness Alliance presented its case for a food policy during a special presentation at NSW Parliament.

‘NSW consumers and producers are increasingly concerned about the cost of diet-related disease, the loss of agricultural land to development, climate change and water insecurity’, said SFFA spokesperson and Eco Justice Coordinator at the Edmund Rice Centre, Jill Finnane.‘The Sydney Food Fairness Alliance urges the NSW Government to respond to these challenges by developing and implementing an integrated, whole of government food policy’, Jill continued.

The presentation at NSW Parliament canvased the value of forming an independent Food Policy Council.

‘The SFFA submits that the NSW Government must convene an independent Food Policy Council to meaningfully engage community, business and government stakeholders to respond to the challenge of securing an affordable, healthy food supply for NSW, now and into the future’, said Jill.

The presentation was hosted by Macarthur region MPs Philip Costa, Geoff Corrigan, Andrew McDonald and Graham West.

The keynote speaker was David Mason, an expert on urban agriculture.

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The Metropolitan Strategy – Review 2010

Posted on 13. Jul, 2010 by .


The Metropolitan Strategy – City of Cities: A Plan for Sydney’s Future: Review 2010

DOWNLOAD … Metropolitan Strategy Review 2010 (231KB pdf)

In early 2010, a review was announced of Sydney’s Metropolitan Strategy, Sydney Towards 2036 , the first five-yearly review since the Strategy was written in 2005 . This submission was prepared on behalf of SFFA by Lynne Saville, Dr Frances Parker and Liz Millen. It focuses mainly on Section 8 of the discussion document ‘ Balancing land uses on the city fringe’.

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Metropolitan Strategy Review Sydney Towards 2036

Posted on 27. Mar, 2010 by .



DOWNLOAD…Metropolitan Strategy Review (2.2MB pdf)

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