Community members of Copley and Leigh Creek gathered at the Copley Hall to affirm their clear opposition to the Underground Coal Gasification project at the old Leigh Creek Coal Mine. The UCG trial of Leigh Creek Energy (LKE) project is due to end on May 7.
Following a day of meeting, reflecting on country and culture, music and food around 100 community members marched through the outback town of Copley to erect a permanent sign that declared their towns UCG free.
The Community invited the Minister for Energy and Mines Dan Van Holst Pellekaan to attend the declaration day. The Minister reported to the community that Leigh Creek Energy who had been running the UCG trial had “packed up and gone home” but did not rule out this company or another making further or future applications.
“The Adnyamathanha people welcome the news that the trial is over and that LKE have gone from our country. We have always been totally opposed to this project and now it’s time for healing.” said Vince Coulthard, Chief Executive Officer, Adnyamathanha Traditional Lands Association RNTBC ARA
Amongst a sea of colourful signs, home-made banners and chants community members called on the Minister to take the next steps to ban UCG in South Australia completely.
“The next stage now is to ban the risky technology once and for all, we don’t want our people and our land poisoned like the people of Chinchilla in Queensland. We will fight UCG every step of the way – whether it’s a proposal by Leigh Creek Energy or any other company” said Dwayne Coulthard, Adnyamathanha Community Member and Community Organiser, Original Power.
Almost 200 people in Leigh Creek and Copley were surveyed with an overwhelming 90% majority declaring opposition to UCG. This is the first community in Australia to declare a UCG free town.
Adnyamathanha Elder Linda Coulthard addressed the community meeting saying “Copley is our home, we don’t want it.”
This is a media release from Adnyamathanha Traditional Lands Association RNTBC ARA published on Original Power Facebook.