News

CSG protestors step up to their moment in history

FOLK SINGERS: Davey Bob Ramsey and Kim McLean lead the crowd in protest songs at the anti-CSG rally on Wednesday.
FOLK SINGERS: Davey Bob Ramsey and Kim McLean lead the crowd in protest songs at the anti-CSG rally on Wednesday.

AROUND 300 people stood under the blazing sun on Wednesday rallying against coal seam gas mining in the Northern Rivers.

A spokesman for Metgasco told The Echo that "despite the antics of a very small group of protestors, the seismic program has proceeded and will be completed successfully".

SCU lecturer, author and activist Aidan Ricketts told the protestors, Australia was facing the greatest threat since World War II.

"Persistent social movements win," he told the crowd.

The latest actions against CSG mining on the North Coast began last weekend when an estimated 100 people attended peaceful protests against seismic testing being conducted by Metgasco on Ellangowan Rd, near Casino Airport.

Over the weekend they maintained a presence and further protests occurred outside a hotel in Lismore where Metgasco-contracted workers were staying.

Metgasco CEO Peter Henderson accused protestors of theft and the physical intimidation of employees. He said activists had stolen 11 lengths of geo-testing cable worth about $5500 and that images of the theft had been handed to police.

However, no charges have been laid and a caller to ABC North Coast Radio said she and others had handled the equipment thinking it was detritus - "because it literally looked like a handbag made out of recycled gear," she said.

Spokeswoman for the CSG-Free Community Strategy, Annie Kia, compared the protests to the Civil Rights movement of America.

"There is no social license for this industry," she maintained. "We should step up to this moment in history."

Adam Guise, of CSG-Free Northern Rivers, emphasised that anti-CSG protestors were part of a broad-based social movement. "We're all in this together. Air and water are the most precious things we have. We must grow this social movement and keep it non-violent, stay united on this single issue."

The speeches were followed by an old-fashioned folk revival, with Luke Vasella, Davey Bob Ramsey and Kim McLean belting out protest anthems.

The protestors then formed a convoy and drove out to Naughtons Gap, the juncture of the Kyogle, Lismore and Casino local government areas and the site of current seismic testing.

There, Lock the Gate co-ordinator Boudicca Cerise warned that although Metgasco claims its plans are for conventional gas mining, the geological reality belies that.

"Gas reserves here are held in impermeable sandstone reservoirs and require intensive large-scale multiple fracking to get at them," she said.

She said that the seismic testing Metgasco was undertaking extended south from Casino and right out to Naughtons Gap where it intersects the Lismore-

Kyogle Road.

"This is not just about the Richmond Valley. Naughtons Gap is the confluence of three shires. If Metgasco's first exploration well has the results they're after they will expand rapidly from there."


Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Together we're united for 6.8m regional Australians

Fairgo for regional australia.

Open letter to Malcolm Turnbull and bill Shorten

NSW Regional Arts Fund applications open

LOCAL: Arts Northern Rivers 2016 RAF Project, If These Halls Could Talk, featured Beryl from Roundabout Theatre’s The Cupcakes.

Are you preparing an artistic project for 2017?

Snoop Wogg? We ask leaders the (un)important questions

The pop culture and lifestyle trivia we posed to Australian leaders

Latest deals and offers

Turnbull, Shorten in dead heat on election eve: polling

VERY few Australians expect Opposition Leader Bill Shorten to actually win on Saturday, but half will still vote for Labor as their first or second choice.

Together we're united for 6.8m regional Australians

Fairgo for regional australia.

Open letter to Malcolm Turnbull and bill Shorten

NSW Regional Arts Fund applications open

LOCAL: Arts Northern Rivers 2016 RAF Project, If These Halls Could Talk, featured Beryl from Roundabout Theatre’s The Cupcakes.

Are you preparing an artistic project for 2017?

Snoop Wogg? We ask leaders the (un)important questions

The pop culture and lifestyle trivia we posed to Australian leaders

Victim tells why paedophiles should not be named

Woman says whole lot of harm can come from shaming campaign

Lismore construction boom triggered by hospital upgrade

See where the cash is being spent on development in the city

Chasing Asylum documentary to screen locally

An image from the film Chasing Asylum by Australian director Eva Orner.

The latest film by Academy Award winner Australian Eva Orner

PROPERTY BOOM: Coast prices set to skyrocket

Like other areas in south-east Queensland, the Sunshine Coast is at the start of the upturn on the property clock.

Values predicted to rise 25-33%

DIY: How to build a backyard fire pit

DIY stars and Weekend magazine columnists Ayden and Jess Hogan.

Would you build this for your backyard?