Political overtones on parade
CASINO Beef Week street parade tomorrow will have a political feel with several groups spruiking protest messages set to join those who will showcase the Richmond Valley and the beef industry.
Anti-coal seam gas groups will march under the Lock-the-Gate Alliance banner, while Bonalbo and Coraki residents will march to highlight their fight to retain health services.
Coal seam gas company Metgasco will also take part.
Richmond Valley Group Against Gas spokesman Dean Draper said the Lock-the-Gate float would have a food security theme.
"Our farms have been sustaining Casino for generations and it's important we support the farmers to allow them to continue to do that," Mr Draper said.
"Unconventional gas mining threatens our food producing land and our community, and farmers with concerns about this industry coming on their land or into their region need to get vocal."
Richmond Valley based cattle producer Alan Collins will join the parade and said without access to clean water he can't do his job.
"Coal seam gas mining with its problems with aquifer drawdown and contamination has no place in our farming region," he said.
"I will be joining the Lock-the-Gate float at Beef Week to show my concerns and my support."
Ewingar cattle producer Jen Lewis will also march.
"I'm going in the parade because I want to stand up and be counted as a farmer who doesn't want to see our rural farmlands industrialised by coal seam gas," she said.
"Our small farms are the lifeblood of Casino - that's what keeps it going and has done for generations."
The Save Coraki Hospital Committee and the Save Our Service Upper Clarence Health Committee, which is fighting to retain services at Bonalbo Hospital, will also be represented.
Beef Week president Stuart George said Beef Week has never encouraged politically themed floats as it is not a political organisation.
However, he said the groups have been welcomed in the parade on the condition they adhere to established rules, including a limit on the number of marchers in each float.
BEEF WEEK PARADE
Beef Week Festival Street Parade. 1.45pm, Saturday, May 26 - Casino CBD.
The Beef Week parade on Saturday will include floats representing:
- Quirky Parade Walkers
- FEDC and Westlawn Finance
- Casino Miniature Railway
- Leeville Public School
- Richmond Valley Council Migrant Advisory Committee
- Lock the Gate Alliance
- Hurford Hardwood and Timber Communities Australia
- Evans Head Fishing Classic
- Windara Communities
- Casino RSM Rugby League Football
- Support Bonalbo Hospital
- Community Radio Coraki
- NSW Rural fire Service
- Casino Willy-Whirlers Square Dance Club