Farmers in northern NSW and Southern Queensland have banded together to fight the combined power of big business and governments in an attempt to have heard their side of the debate about Coal Seam Gas and the future of the Great Artesian Basin.
Narrabri and Chinchilla are almost as remote from Sydney and Brisbane as life on the land is from the world of inner city hipsters and politicians reclining on their padded leather benches.
But it is in these recharge areas of the Great Artesian Basin a relative handful of farmers are fighting for what they say is the future of agriculture in their areas.
They are practical men and women who are not opposed to change and development but their lifestyle and the lives of hundreds of thousands of sheep and cattle are dependent on the continuing flow of water from the Great Artesian Basin -- the million year old aquifer that supplies water to more than 22 per cent of our dry continent.
Without the drinking water produced from bores that tap into the Great Artesian Basin (GAB), it would be impossible to run the current stock numbers, either cattle or sheep, on the sweeping western plains.
The farmers fear that Coal Seam Gas exploration and production that involves drilling thousands of gas wells into and through the GAB could destroy the aquifer and force them to walk off and abandon their farms.
Already many bores near Chinchilla have stopped producing clean water, or in some cases, any water at all.
But getting their side of the story over against the powerful public relations machines and cosy political lobbying groups used by the billion dollar mining industry is an uphill fight.
Only when someone such as Wallaby flanker David Pocock chains himself to mining machinery in protest does the farmers’ one-sided fight even impact on the big city media.
So farmers are now asking Australians, particularly those in the cities, to take a long drive into the scrub to see for themselves the truth of the matter.
They have established a website, Gas & GAB Tours www.gasgabtours.com, to allow everyone to take a self guided tour of the areas affected by the on-going gas exploration and extraction.
The site gives detailed information on how to get there, what to see, where to stay or camp and who to talk to for expert information.
It also warns against trespassing on land owned or controlled by the mining giants -- an action which under new regulations recently pushed through by the NSW Government can now result in fines of up to $5,000 and long jail terms.