Calls for CSG reforms after farmer's suicide

75,000 petitioners call for CSG changes

GEORGE Bender's suicide so affected a Brisbane realtor she started a petition calling on the Queensland government to stop CSG companies "bullying" farmers.

In about one month more than 75,000 people have signed the petition.

Petition starter Jodi Meynell said the death of Mr Bender, a Chinchilla farmer, had inspired her to take action.

Mr Bender's family have told media coal seam gas companies had "bullied" him.

Speaking at a media event organised by anti-coal seam gas group Lock the Gate, Ms Meynell claimed she had no political affiliation.

"I really feel that nobody would ever want another farmer to commit suicide under such extreme stress," she said.

"What we're all hoping for is for the government to note that 75,000 plus people is a very loud indication that we're not happy with the way farmers have been treated."

While the petition is aimed at Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk the signatories are not all from Queensland or even Australia.

Ms Meynell is a real estate agent in Indooroopilly in Brisbane's west.

Lock the Gate president Drew Hutton denied the organisation had ever campaigned for the end of the CSG industry.

At a resource industry lunch on Wednesday Ms Palaszczuk spoke about the importance of mining and gas to the state's economy dubbing them Queensland's "backbone".

Queensland Resource Council Michael Roche has accused groups such as Lock the Gate of politicking Mr Bender's death for their own purposes.

- APN NEWSDESK



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