VISITORS to Pro-Ag at Macksville over the weekend were keen to meet up with local action group Lock the Nambucca Valley (LNV).
Group members spoke with hundreds of concerned farmers, land holders and community residents about the impact of current and proposed mining projects on the Mid North Coast.
"We were overwhelmed by the number of questions people had about land rights, water use and the threat to their livelihoods," LNV spokesperson Paula Flack said.
"Most people we spoke to also expressed concern about the decline of agriculture and how farming is going to co-exist with mining."
The LNV stall provided information and offered support to local primary producers regarding their property rights, local exploration and mining activities.
They offered advice and discussed long term impacts of heavy metal pollution of soil and water.
"Many people also expressed disbelief at the rapid expansion of the mining sector, despite widespread opposition," Ms Flack added.
According to LNV president and hydrologist Rudy Van Drie, much of the Mid North Coast does not have the right geology for coal seam gas mining.
"However, it does have gold and antimony deposits," he said.
"The consequences of mining these minerals could be devastating to our river and floodplain dependant agricultural sector and economy.
"Our association aims to raise awareness about the many threats to clean water and agricultural land posed by mining.
"Right across Australia farmers are proving they are a force to be reckoned with when it comes to protecting their livelihoods in the battle against big mining companies."
He said many front gates in the Nambucca Valley now display the well-known yellow Lock The Gate signs.
"This is the first step to ensure property rights will be observed when a mining company comes knocking," the president said.
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