Duncan MacIntyre’s comments on last week’s front page raised several issues.
The most serious issue of all is non disclosure.
To represent himself as a “local farmer” and give a ringing endorsement of the Liberal National Coalition State Government’s draft Strategic Land Use Policy whilst not disclosing that he is chairman of the Upper Hunter Electorate Council of the National Party is disingenuous to say the least.
I cannot imagine that our elected representative George Souris will be pleased with the outrageously inappropriate behaviour of his local party bigwig.
After all, Souris has enough on his plate already with a disgruntled electorate severely disappointed with the flawed policy that was recently released and the opposition calling for his head over the Star City scandal.
Mr Macintyre should resign from his position.
Some would say that Mr Macintyre’s ill-informed attack on the NSW Farmers’ Association is a betrayal of his farming colleagues; I would say that it demonstrates that he has no comprehension of the land use conflict, which is hardly surprising.
Further, his assertion that what the Farmers Association wants - which can be quickly summarised as the ‘ring fencing’ of strategic agricultural lands and the inclusion of exploration licenses applications and renewals in the gateway process - will lead to a “socialist state” is preposterous drivel.
When the term ‘socialist’ gets bandied around as an insult it usually comes from a rabid Tea Party candidate, so perhaps one shouldn’t be surprised to see it being used by a National Party chief.
If the farmers of the Liverpool Plains or the Thoroughbred Breeders of this valley adopted Macintyre’s “take the money and run” option the black soils would be lost for eternity and the breeding industry would be scattered to the four winds.
Fortunately we’re made of sterner stuff and will go on fighting to ensure our ongoing viability as sustainable rural industries.
With common sense having to prevail and the original Bickham rejection I moved my family and thoroughbred breeding business to a new farm just two kilometres from the bulk sample coal-pit, thinking I would be safe here from the ongoing encroachment of mining activity.
I now see drilling rigs not more than 1.5 kilometres from my boundary.
What choice do we have now but to stand up again and confront this ridiculous proposal with everything we’ve got?