Fracking, a means of extracting gas from shale and coal seams, is causing ructions among Australian farmers. The continent is loaded with reserves of both shale and coal gas. This is being liquefied and exported to energy-hungry Asian markets.

But much of this gas is under good farmland in Queensland and New South Wales. “Lock the gate” protest groups have urged farmers not to allow the mining companies onto their land. Anti-fracking and coal seam gas signage on the roadsides is widespread. Environmentalists, often called “greenies”, are aligned with landowners against the mining companies.