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National award for song telling George Bender's story

George Bender was one of five generations of Hopeland farmers who had made their livelihoods from the land since 1907.
George Bender was one of five generations of Hopeland farmers who had made their livelihoods from the land since 1907.

A SONG telling the story of Chinchilla's George Bender and other farmers struggling with CSG on their properties has received a national award.

The Truth Walks Slowly (in the countryside) won the 2017 Golden Guitar for Video Clip of the Year at the Tamworth Country Music Awards.

The song was performed by duo O'Shea, husband and wife team Jay and Mark, along with former drummer for Midnight Oil Rob Hirst.

Mark and Jay O'Shea have released 'The Truth Walks Slowly in the Countryside' with Rob Hirst in tribute to George Bender.
Mark and Jay O'Shea have released 'The Truth Walks Slowly in the Countryside' with Rob Hirst in tribute to George Bender. O'Shea

Mr O'Shea said they were thrilled the song had picked up a Gold Guitar and were honoured the Bender family had trusted them with telling their story.

"Rob, Jay and I would like to dedicate the award to George and all the other farmers in Queensland and throughout Australia who are struggling with the effects of CSG on their properties," he said.

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Chinchilla man George Bender was a fifth-generation farmer and well-known campaigner for the rights of landholders in negotiations with CSG companies. Mr Bender took his own life in 2015.

Lock the Gate national coordinator Phil Laird said the group was hopeful O'Shea would take out the award.

"We thank them on behalf of our members and supporters for their passion and the exposure that their music has brought to the CSG issue," Mr Laird said.

"The O'Sheas' Gold Guitar follows a blockbuster concert of country music artists against CSG destroying farmland in the Tamworth Town Hall in the lead up to the awards.

"The strong support from fans and artists show that the impacts to local people and the environment by coal and gas has struck a real chord with country music."

If you or anyone you know needs help contact Lifeline on 13 11 14.

Topics:  chinchilla csg mining darling downs george bender toowoomba


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