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Huge police presence gets trucks through

DETERMINED coal seam gas protesters have vowed to continue blockading the industry after a gruelling protest at Doubtful Creek yesterday that ended in at least nine arrests and one woman being taken away by ambulance in a neck brace.

A massive police operation involving at least 40 officers was required to break the 300-strong community blockade - mostly crowd control specialists from the Operational Support Group (the rural riot squad) drawn from multiple commands.

A massive polic presence at the Doubtful Creek CSG mining site. Photo Patrick Gorbunovs / The Northern Star
A massive polic presence at the Doubtful Creek CSG mining site. Photo Patrick Gorbunovs / The Northern Star Patrick Gorbunovs

Around 9am a convoy of police vehicles arrived, closing a section of Knights Rd and immediately the OSG moved to corral protesters north.

Police Rescue officers dismantled several blockade installations inside the entrance to Eden Creek State Forest, which was closed by Forestry NSW on Monday because of "public safety" concerns.

A crowd of protesters at the Doubtful Creek CSG mining site.
A crowd of protesters at the Doubtful Creek CSG mining site. Patrick Gorbunovs

Among those arrested inside the forest were activists Philippe Dupuy and Naomi Tarrant. Mr Dupuy was extracted by Police Rescue officers from a makeshift tunnel dug under the road while Ms Tarrant was arrested after her arm was broken free from a concrete block in the ground.

Clare Twomey, a Knitting Nanna Against Gas was arrested after being removed from her 3m-high bamboo tripod before it was bulldozed to a chorus of jeers.

An Aboriginal protester weeps as police approach the blockade.
An Aboriginal protester weeps as police approach the blockade.

When police moved to corral protesters north of the entrance to the site to make way for the incoming trucks, several more arrests were made, including Lock the Gate President Drew Hutton who sat unmoving in a gesture of defiance.

Mr Hutton had earlier declared "governments had failed us" by improper regulation of the CSG industry, and labelled the large police operation a "ridiculous misuse of public resources".

Rock Valley resident Adrienne Stones, was injured when her head hit the bullbar of a 4WD after falling when police tried to move her on. She was later taken away in a neck brace by ambulance, but only after the Metgasco trucks were waved through by police.

When the convoy of semi-trailers finally entered the drilling site, anti-CSG protesters were deflated, tired and in need of a rest - but could still chant "Shame, shame shame".

ABOVE: Claire Twomey, a Knitting Nanna Against Gas is taken from her bamboo tripod high above the site and arrested.
ABOVE: Claire Twomey, a Knitting Nanna Against Gas is taken from her bamboo tripod high above the site and arrested.

Topics:  coal seam gas doubtful creek blockade police


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