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CSG industry blamed for death of cotton farmer

Late Hopeland farmer George Bender
Late Hopeland farmer George Bender Emma Heron

A QUEENSLAND cotton farmer whose water bores ran dry after the CSG industry came to his area has taken his own life.

The death of Chinchilla farmer George Bender has today been mentioned by radio presenter Alan Jones and independent Senator Glenn Lazarus, who has called for industry to be halted.

Mr Bender died yesterday.

Senator Lazarus has released a tribute statement to Mr Bender saying he would "ensure that Australia sits up and takes notice of what is happening to the people of Australia affected by coal seam gas mining".

Mr Lazarus described George Bender as a "a brave, courageous and big-hearted cotton farmer" who had "fought for ten years to keep CSG mining companies from entering his land".

"George's bores, which provided much needed water for his family and farm, had already dried up as a result of the CSG mining activity taking place in the neaby area.

"They then wanted to come on to his land and install a number of CSG wells which would have further disrupted his farming business and caused additional pain, suffering and financial hardship for George and his family."

Mr Jones also railed against the industry, saying after two of Mr Bender's bores had been "sucked dry" by nearby gas drilling he had drawn a line in the sand at the company then wanting to drill 18 wells on his land.

Mr Bender has also been featured in a video on anti-mining group Lock the Gate's website talking about the impact of the industry on his land.  http://www.lockthegate.org.au/george-story

In it, he said the company was required to make good on the loss of his two crucial water bores for 15 months but no progress had been made.

Lifeline: 13 11 14

Topics:  cotton, csg, george bender




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