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In defense of their land, Australians fight against the coal empire

Clemence Pavic

22 Sept 2023

Farmers concerned

Some 500 kilometers from Sydney, nestled in northern New South Wales, the Pilliga Forest interests Santos. The company wants to develop a coal gas project there. But an Australian alliance of Aborigines, farmers and environmentalists is strongly opposed.

Extended over more than 3000 km2 , the Pilliga forest is a haven of biodiversity. This natural habitat rests on the Great Artesian Basin, a vast underground aquifer that corresponds to a fifth of the Australian continent.

“Pilliga is the lung of our people,” explains Karra Kinchela, an Aboriginal from the Gomeroi community, who lives in Narrabri, to the north of the forest. “We must protect it for environmental reasons, but also cultural ones,” she says.

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