In a start that would make past Bylong thoroughbred champions proud, a new crowdfunding campaign to protect the pristine Bylong Valley is off and racing with almost $5,000 donated in the first 24 hours.
The ‘Battle For Bylong’ campaign is raising funds to pay for expert review of the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for KEPCO’s proposed Bylong coal mine project, which is expected to go on exhibition at the end of September.
The crowdfunding campaign includes a series of short videos of Bylong locals giving insights into why the community is so determined to fight.
One of those featured is local general store owner and ICAC witness, Jodie Nancarrow, whose father bred race horses in Bylong for 30 years.
‘My father called it “Paradise Valley” and he’s dead right,’ Ms Nancarrow says; ‘Why would a Korean company, who has no experience in setting up a coal mine, think that the Bylong Valley was a good place to experiment with that?’
Also featured in a video to be released on Tuesday Sept 15, is local ‘Talooby’ Angus stud owner and third generation local, Peter Grieve ‘The coal mine people - because they’re so big - are virtually impossible to deal with. The deck’s stacked at every level against you and the government has done very little to protect the farming community.’
The campaign aims to raise a total of $25,000 to engage experts across a number of areas, including water and agricultural impacts, economics, air quality, noise, and European and Aboriginal heritage.
‘Without independent expert analysis, the key information that government decision-makers have comes from people commissioned by the mining company,’ says Craig Shaw, Secretary of the Bylong Valley Protection Alliance. ‘That’s hardly satisfactory. We need to hold them, and the
government, to account.’
The closing date for the ‘Battle For Bylong’ Crowdfunder is October 25.