Pat Schultz writes: “I’m standing for the seat of Barwon at a critical moment in time for voters in this electorate, for social equity, for First Nations people and farmers, for the environment and for free and accessible health services for those in need. This is at a time when Santos, a multinational fossil fuel corporation, pushes ahead with its coal seam gas project in North West NSW, a project that will cover 95,000 hectares, impacting the Pilliga, polluting waterways and ignoring Gomeroi cultural heritage. The NSW Premier has determined that one of the pipelines is Critical State Significant Infrastructure, which means that thorough environmental assessment will not be undertaken, and the community will have little say. This is at a time when climatic shocks are decimating countryside, households, businesses and communities across NSW. The Santos Narrabri gas project in the Pilliga will make this worse with millions of tonnes of extra carbon dioxide entering the atmosphere over its lifespan, further contributing to global warming. This Government needs a wake-up call.”
Pat’s family settled in Gunnedah on arriving in Australia from Scotland. She attended Wee Waa High School and Gunnedah High School. She has campaigned in Barwon for 11 years to protect the Pilliga Forest, the Great Artesian Basin and farmland from coal seam gas. Pat has been a persistent advocate for the No coal seam gas campaign in Pilliga country. She advocates for farmers whose livelihoods are threatened by extractive industries. Pat has taken many people to The Pilliga to show them the beauty and the destruction. Sue Higginson (Greens Member of the Legislative Council) and other MLCs have joined Pat in The Pilliga, and continue to vote against coal and coal seam gas development in Parliament, to campaign for the right to protest and for an overhaul of our environmental protection laws. (See Sue Higginson’s call for the end of coal and gas and other campaigns here: https://www.suehigginson.org/.)
Pat campaigns with members of the First Nations community on the threat that coal mining and coal seam gas pose for the country that sustains them spiritually. She can’t wait for Wiradjuri woman, Lynda-June Coe, to be elected to the NSW Upper House to progress truth-telling and healing, the path to Treaty and self-determination for First Nations people. Pat strongly supports Lynda-June’s work, including on ’Water is Life' Climate Action, Black Lives Matter, stopping the forced removal of Aboriginal children, for affordable and public housing, job security, and access to health and education.
Pat Schultz is a support person for a Barwon resident with a chronic illness, travelling to accompany him for medical treatment. This has given her insight into the difficulties faced by Barwon residents in getting the medical support they require, particularly specialist services. The Greens’ health policy insists that the NSW regional health system be adequately funded and that free and accessible healthcare options be made available to all residents of regional NSW; see https://greens.org.au/nsw/healthcare2023.
Voters in Barwon: you can help the Greens continue our fight to protect people and the planet. Vote 1 Greens in the Lower House and Upper House!