Election 2016: Local woman sets tone for Q&A panel

SETTING THE TONE: Bundarra’s Sandra Bamberry, pictured here with her daughters Isabel and Abby-Rose, pulled no punches on the Q&A panel when the show arrived in Tamworth.AN anti-mining activist is still pursuing answers after she took deputy prime minister Barnaby Joyce to task on the issue during a star-turn on Q&A earlier this week.

Broadcast live from the Tamworth, host Tony Jones was joined by deputy prime minister and New England MP Barnaby Joyce, independent candidate Tony Windsor, shadow agriculture minister Joel Fitzgibbon, NSW Farmers Federation vice-president Fiona Simson and Tamworth businesswoman and farmer Robbie Sefton.

Sandra Bamberry won plaudits for her moment in the limelight on the ABC’s Q&A program on Monday night where she queried the panel over coal seam gas health impacts and land contamination.

She says the support she’s since received has been “surreal”.

“I was amazed on Tuesday watching all the online media.”

Ms Bamberry said her family had moved back to Bundarra after trying to run a farm in Tara in Queensland, where encroaching gas wells were tainting the air and water, producing lead levels too high for the safety of her children.

“We have done everything possible to get help,” she said.

“Being lead… it’s really, its irreversible on children, the damage that it causes.”

Both Mr Joyce’s and Tony Windsor’s responses were little more than buck passing, according to their inquisitor.

“The state government is the one who gave out the licences, and the state still overwhelmingly has the authority to deal with that issue,” Mr Joyce said.

“There are people up there, children, living with this in their air, in their rainwater, and you’re sitting there telling me it’s a state issue? It’s not a state issue. It’s a very, very serious issue right across this nation, and you just sat there and told me you’re going to do nothing,” Sandra responded.

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