News

Anti-CSG activists block access to Bentley farmer's property

A protester stands in protest against CSG mining in Bentley.
A protester stands in protest against CSG mining in Bentley. Patrick Gorbunovs

THE BENTLEY dairy farmers on whose land Metgasco will drill next month say gasfields activists have adopted extreme tactics in constructing a "war barrier" blocking access to their property.

Father and son dairy farmers Robert and Peter Graham, the latter a former Lismore councillor, run a herd of limousin cattle on the property.

Relations between the Grahams and protesters have strained in recent weeks as tensions rise over the imminent drilling.

At the weekend an unknown group built a blockade across the Grahams' driveway from star pickets with steel spikes welded to the end, splayed in several directions.

The spikes had been covered in PVC piping yesterday, but Peter Graham said they were dangerous, describing the structure as a "wartime barrier".

"Any one of those (protesters) could fall and spike themselves," he said.

"What worries me is what's next. I don't want it to be a war."

Bentley farmer Peter Graham. photo Patrick Gorbunovs / The Northern Star
Bentley farmer Peter Graham. photo Patrick Gorbunovs / The Northern Star Patrick Gorbunovs

The newly formed Front Line Against Gas group, which spokeswoman Ruth Rosenhek said was made up of protesters "on the ground" at Bentley, refused to take responsibility for the installation.

But Ms Rosenhek said it was "obviously a delay tactic" to hamper grading work needed on the steep driveway into the site before the drill truck could gain access.

"This is obviously the entrance to the drill site and protesters are trying to slow things down," she said.

A permanent vigil tent manned by protesters is set up on the narrow strip of public land between Bentley Rd and the property.

Ms Rosenhek said "safety was paramount".

"To me the road is much more unsafe than anything happening here on the driveway," she said.

The entrance to the planned drill is not used by the Grahams on a regular basis, but Mr Graham said they had also encountered issues entering the main gate, which they use several times a week.

"We've removed five padlocks on two gates, we've broken welds on two gates, we've removed rubbish and barricades from two gates," he said.

Local farmer Robert Graham on his Bentley property where drilling will be conducted. Photo Patrick Gorbunovs / The Northern Star
Local farmer Robert Graham on his Bentley property where drilling will be conducted. Photo Patrick Gorbunovs / The Northern Star Patrick Gorbunovs

CSG health impacts uncertain, say researchers

RESEARCHERS in the Medical Journal of Australia argue the uncertainties over health impacts from unconventional gas should be a factor in checking the industry's growth.

The medical report "Harms unknown: health uncertainties cast doubt on the role of unconventional gas in Australia's energy future" argued that wastewater could pose a greater health harm than fracking fluids.

It also argued the potential health burdens of unconventional gas were likely to fall disproportionately on rural communities, the young and the elderly.

Meanwhile, in the state's north west...

TENSIONS are rising at a coal seam gas exploration site in the NSW north-west where an elderly farmer who strapped himself to a drill rig, is refusing to budge.

Dry land farmer and grazier Ted Borowski, who owns a property north of Coonamble, believes the future of the region's farming industry is under threat if the proposed Narrabri Gas Project goes ahead.

The 58-year-old successfully brought a convoy of four trucks carrying a coal seam gas drill rig through the Pilliga Forest to a halt yesterday morning.

His protest action comes after Deputy Premier Andrew Stoner confirmed he would support the fast-tracking of the Santos-backed project.

"If gasfields invade the NSW north-west, it will destroy our water, damage our land and ultimately destroy our ability for a future in farming and food production for the next generation," Mr Borowski said

Negotiations with Mr Borowski, who had attached himself to the rig with metal piping, were continuing late yesterday.

Topics:  coal seam gas csg farming metgasco



Rain dampens bushfire battle

An aerial photo of the Evans Head bushfire  at 9am, Monday, December 5. this morning.

The rain is proving more of a hindrance then help

Aussie Lyme sufferers fear being branded crazy

Borrelia burgdorferi - lyme disease bacteria.

Lyme disease patients stigmatized because of "medical ego”

Telstra tower will give crappy reception: Resident

ANGER: Ellie Ryan and her daughter Lydia will live just 70m from the planned 30m high tower at 1555 Nimbin Rd, Koonorigan.

Telstra accused of 'cheap' plan to build a tower in valley

Local Partners

$31,500 to help service 'save by soaring on angel wings'

A CASINO family have channelled their grief of losing their young daughter into generosity to help a vital service "save by soaring on angel wings”.


Kernaghan's a 'boy from the bush' with a timeless quality

Country music singer Lee Kernaghan.

Lee Kernaghan is celebrating the 25th year of his breakthrough song.

Local acts to hit the stage at Falls Byron

Angie Jeann and Merryn Boller watch Falls Director Brandon Saul and GM of Top Shop Aaron Montano strum a few tunes.

Artists from across the Northern rivers set to go on stage

Doco tells the story of Aussie surfboard pioneers

Gordon Woods (far right) in a 1966 ad for his surf shop. He is the subject of a documentary about the Brookvale Mafia airing on Foxtel.

THE Brookvale six were united in the love of their craft.

Kernaghan's a 'boy from the bush' with a timeless quality

Country music singer Lee Kernaghan.

Lee Kernaghan is celebrating the 25th year of his breakthrough song.

Irina Shayk and Bradley Cooper happy as baby looms

Irina Shayk and Bradley Cooper are in an "extremely happy place"

Brad Pitt bids to keep custody battle private

Brad Pitt will go to court to keep his custody battle private

Sia has split from her husband

Sia has split from her husband Erik Anders Lang.

Amy Schumer thanks Barbie trolls for hateful comments

Amy Schumer is in the lead role for the new Barbie movie

INSIDE STORY: The highlights of your $150 million CBD

GRAND PLAN: The highlights of the Ipswich CBD redevelopment and where they will be located.

Work on city heart's radical transformation to begin next year

VOTE IN OUR POLL: Sand mine opponents face serious dilemma

Public meeting for the proposed sand mine at Maroochydore last week.

Coast MP calls on Minister to stop KRA proposal with stroke of a pen

Developer's grand new multi-million dollar estate

NEW ESTATE: This is the only plan revealed by the property developer's new Billabongs Estate in Agnes Water.

DEVELOPER given the go ahead for a massive estate with 149 homes.

Banks reclaim Gladstone homes as job losses bite

LONG FALL: Property experts Heron Todd say, based on key market indicators, Gladstone is still travelling to the bottom of the market, with property prices set to get cheaper.

Property valuers say Gladstone housing market hasn't hit the bottom

The million dollar property to test Mackay's market

This Victoria St building will go to auction Tuesday and investors will be watching closely to see how much it sells for.

'High profile architect designed CBD asset' goes to auction

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!