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Doubtful Don’s party

DEFIANT: Don Knight hosted Saturday’s concert on his property here at Doubtful Creek. Metgasco’s drilling rig can be seen in the background.
DEFIANT: Don Knight hosted Saturday’s concert on his property here at Doubtful Creek. Metgasco’s drilling rig can be seen in the background.

DON KNIGHT'S family has been farming at Doubtful Creek since 1956. He remembers getting up as a boy and milking the cows, and that the family also ran beef cattle for many years.

But with the arrival of gas mining on a neighbouring property, Don is worried about the effects it will have on the land and the water, on property values and on relationships within the community.

He said it has already created a division between those who have signed agreements with Metgasco and those who won't.

"I used to do mechanical work for him (the landowner with the drill rig on his property).

"But he can get stuffed now.

"There will be a lot of farmers standing on their boundary fences with shotguns," Don said.

He said he had no communication with either his neighbour or Metgasco before the well went in.

"All I got was a glossy brochure in the letterbox telling me how good it was."

Don Knight hosted a free concert on his farm on Saturday where performers, including Xavier Rudd, Ash Grunwald, Diana Anaid, Lil' Fi, Luke Vassella and many others, performed for the people who had been maintaining a blockade at the Doubtful Creek site.

NICKNAMED 'Don's Party', the word spread about the amazing line-up of musical talent and about 500 people made the trip out for a 9am start.

Concert organiser Nick Hanlon said it was done to "shine a spotlight on the issue and give moral support to those on the ground at the blockade".

"We wanted to use the profile of the musicians to get it into the media and spread some love to the movement," she said.

"It was a beautiful, peaceful day. The feeling was one of joy, even though we were opposite a gas rig."

Several landowners told The Echo the scene reminded them of Nimbin's Aquarius Festival and added that they would welcome people setting up a permanent camp.

"The landowners I met all had a wonderful time and were happy to see so many colourful people share their passion for the land," Nick said.

"The movement (against CSG) is so unifying. Everybody thinks CSG is a bad idea. It's not just some little clique that thinks that.

"So having farmers and indigenous elders and musicians and a little girl from Casino who had written a song the night before - it was like having the whole community coming together represented on the stage."

She said "the silver lining" of the actions at Doubtful Creek was how it had brought indigenous people and farmers together.

Local indigenous man Kamally Monsell echoed that sentiment.

"People have come here today as strangers, but leave here as family. There are farmers I didn't even know before, and now they're making me breakfast."


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