More than 3000 people put their bodies on the line to spell out their anti-coal seam gas message to NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell.
They sat down on the grass at Bulli Showground yesterday to form a human sign that read ‘‘Protect H2O, stop CSG!’’
Stop CSG Illawarra organiser Jess Moore said the protest was sparked by Premier O’Farrell’s backflip on a pre-election promise that, if he were elected, he would ensure that mining would not occur in any catchment area.
‘‘No ifs. No buts. A guarantee,’’ he said at the time.
Since then, Ms Moore said, the government has allowed companies like Apex Energy and Magnum Energy (previously known as Ormil Energy) to drill exploratory boreholes close to the water catchment area, around Darkes Forest and Maddens Plains.
"These are areas so protected that if I walked into them I could be fined up to $44,000, and we have 11 exploration coal seam gas wells approved in that area.
"And we know that the company has a plan for 150 to 200 wells across our drinking water catchment."
Ms Moore said the group wanted a "commonsense, science-first approach" to coal seam gas.
"It's absurd in 2012 that we have to take this kind of action to get our government to protect our drinking water," she said.
It's the second human sign organised to protest against CSG exploration.
The first was on Austinmer Beach last year.
Included among the protesters was the Duffus family from Tarrawanna, who formed part of the exclamation mark in the human sign.
Father Chris Duffus said they has come because their children, Ella, 9, and Wil, 7, were interested.
"We go camping a lot and we know how important water is," Mr Duffus said.