SACRIFICE ZONE: David Lowe is one of two Northern Rivers filmmakers behind a new film highlighting the threat of coal-seam gas mining in the Pilliga Forest.
SACRIFICE ZONE: David Lowe is one of two Northern Rivers filmmakers behind a new film highlighting the threat of coal-seam gas mining in the Pilliga Forest. Contributed

Local filmmakers brave the Sacrifice Zone

A NORTHERN Rivers filmmaking duo are putting finishing touches on a feature length documentary highlighting the environmental threat of a planned coal-seam gas project in the state's north west.

Sacrifice Zone investigates the widespread community opposition against the massive Santos Narrabri Gas Project earmarked in the Pilliga Forest.

Local filmmakers David Lowe and Eve Jeffery, of Cloudcatcher Media, have spent seven months interviewing key stakeholders for the film.

A crowdfunding campaign has also been launched to help fund widespread distribution of the film once complete.

In just two days the campaign has raised more than $6000 on crowdfunding website Chuffed.org, and it is currently trending at number two on the site.

Sacrifice Zone reveals a "vast wall of experts and scientific facts" standing in the way of the project, according to Lowe.

"Unlike other films about invasive gas in Australia, like Frackman and The Bentley Effect, Sacrifice Zone is designed to prevent something disastrous happening, not document it after the event or celebrate a rare win", the filmmaker said.

"This is a fighting tool to educate and empower communities, focusing particularly on the threat to north west NSW."

The team from Cloudcatcher interviewed more than 50 experts, residents and farmers including the local Aboriginal Gamilaraay people, groundwater engineers, medical experts, financial analysts, lawyers, activists, astronomers, toxics experts, politicians, whistleblowers and ecologists.

The Santos project has been heavily criticised for its potential to negatively impact vital water resources in the Great Artesian Basin, the Pilliga Forest, and the livelihood of the farming community in the region.

The company's Environmental Impact Statement lodged with the NSW Government received 23,000 submissions, with over 98% in opposition.

Farmer and Great Artesian Basin Protection Group president Anne Kennedy said local farmers were "determined" to not let the project go ahead.

'Farmers cannot accept the thought of the loss of their water,' Ms Kennedy said

"A farmer's credo is 'you leave the land in a better shape than you found it', that's what they live by, and they know that this will completely destroy their land."

The Chuffed crowdfunder aims to raise $49,000 to complete post-production of the project as well as host free screenings and provide subsequent online access to the film, along with a series of extra, educational video shorts.

For more information about the project visit: https://www.chuffed.org/project/sacrificezone.



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