Liverpool Plains farmers and Gomeroi representatives were among thousands who united under one banner on Saturday to deliver a strong message to NSW politicians its time to choose.
A year out from NSW state elections, countless marchers descended on Sydney for the Time2Choose rally, which drew people from all over Australia who have concerns about the impact of coal mining.
Breeza farmer John Hamparsum, his wife Nicole and two of his sisters flew the banner for the Liverpool Plains where farmers are opposed to mining.
There were people from everywhere, people from Coonamble, the Hunter, a lot of people from Sydney, a very strong representation from Gomeroi people and a lot of Liverpool Plains people there. It was good to get support over such a big area, Mr Hamparsum said.
I think what impacted me most was how many different areas have the same issues and there are so many people being affected by these new coal mines and so many different regional representatives and sometimes you feel like youre all alone and then you realise there are heaps of people in the same predicament.
I think it was a great show of community. It was time to choose and I think a lot of people wanted to make a statement that we have to deal with climate change. A lot of the city people I spoke to, thats why they were there.
Fellow Liverpool Plains farmer and North West Alliance committee member Peter Wills took a carload of people to the rally and said it was fantastic.
It was a good rallying point for morale, he said.
Were not alone in this.
Mr Wills said it was good to speak to city-siders about the impacts of mining and said it was a highlight to have their support at the rally.
We know we have support here in the country but so many people from across the city came into town, people from all walks of life, who are concerned about these developments and the impact they could have on water and agriculture, he said.
Mr Wills said it was also good to see Sydney-based farming kids turn out to join their parents and support the venture.
The procession was led by Indigenous representatives, with a strong number of Gomeroi people from the Gunnedah area, including Mitchum Neave and Dolly Talbott.
Mr Neave said it was impossible to determine just how many people marched but the line of people stretched for at least a kilometre.
There was a massive turn-out of support, he said.
Martin Place was chockers; you could not walk through there.
Mr Neave said it meant a lot to him to march at the front of the rally with his people.
It was very respectful to put us at the forefront, he said.
To have them behind us, even though theyre all different organisations, really hit home and put goosebumps all over you.
Personally, Id like to thank the North West Alliance for being proactively involved with the support of the first people. I appreciate what theyve done, putting us at the front.
Fellow Gomeroi local Dolly Talbott bussed down to the rally with about 20 people from Gunnedah, Maitland and Muswellbrook, and would like to see a moratorium on coal and coal seam gas in NSW.
I think the government needs to start listening to the people in this country and what they want, Ms Talbott said.
Everything cant be mitigated. Moneys no good if youve got no fresh water and clean air to breathe.
Weve got to think of our children's children and so on into the future generations.
Ms Talbott said the rally was putting the government on notice.
I think its a notice to the government about just how people are feeling about climate change and coal and what its doing to our river system and our farm land, she said.
Words starting to get out and people are starting to understand more about what this mining means to the country and theyre starting to band together and fight, and whatever areas theyre in theyre realising we need to fight together.
I think its a brilliant starting point and I think we will continue to push this home coming on to the elections.
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