Gomeroi Traditional Owner Polly Cutmore has vowed to continue to fight on behalf of the Gomeroi Nation against what she describes as the 'gas invasion', despite the Commonwealth government signing off on the Narrabri Gas Project this week.
On Tuesday, Federal Minister for the Environment Sussan Ley announced on Tuesday she had granted environmental approval for the controversial 850-well Santos mine.
The decision was not what Moree elder Polly Cutmore was hoping for, but it has only strengthened her resolve to stand firm in her opposition to the project and gas development throughout the North West NSW.
"Gomeroi people are not happy with the decisions by Sussan Ley or the NSW Independent Planning Commission, as we will not be bullied into accepting any long-term harm to precious waters and fauna and flora," she said in a statement on Wednesday.
"The Pilliga is our sacred place, it has all of our knowledge, our dreaming, food and resources. The guardian of the forest tells us those who break the rules are not welcome and will not prosper.
"The Gomeroi Nation puts the Australian and NSW Governments on notice that as our people have not been respected and their rights to country recognised.
"We are saying 'no' to a gas invasion of our country."
Ms Cutmore believes the Gomeroi people have not been consulted on the Narrabri Gas Project and as traditional custodians of the land, do not consent to gas mining.
"The consultation process for mining across the country is broken, therefore we say no consent has been given, just like no consent was given to take our land away 200 years ago," she said.
"Our Nation is stirring at the plans to open all Gomeroi country to gas and demand their say.
"If the government Native Title agency continues to stall on setting a date for a Nation Meeting on this issue, then we will call our own meeting, and this will happen soon.
"Then all Gomeroi and all First Nation groups across Australia can unite in their defiance of this latest wave of colonial theft of our country.
"We will not be silenced."
Gomeroi Traditional Owners will commence actions to demand a 'fair go' in Canberra next week.
"This is our country, this is your country, let's be smart and start to respect each other and to look after what we were given and what we will hand down to future generations," Ms Cutmore said.
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