THE Bentley blockade is proving to symbolise more than a win against an unwanted industry - among other things, it's now become the launch pad for a political career.
Having spent two-and-a-half years fighting coal-seam gas in the Northern Rivers, Lock the Gate's Adam Guise was formally endorsed yesterday as the Greens candidate for the seat of Lismore in next year's state election.
Mr Guise's made his maiden campaign speech at the former site of Bentley's "Camp Liberty", where he had played a key role as spokesman for the history-making blockade.
He's now hoping to capitalise on the momentum of that victory, calling the community versus government confrontation that led to Bentley as "symbolic of the crisis in democracy in NSW".
"Bentley is a symbol of a community united getting a great community win, and it highlights that we've got to change the way we do politics in this country," he said.
"No longer can we have mining interests influencing our political systems to their benefit."
Mr Guise vowed the Greens would "do politics differently", offering "clean air, clean water, clean energy and clean politics", alongside policies in favour of renewable energy and the protection of farmland.
Standing alongside Mr Guise yesterday were Bentley farmers - some lifelong Nationals voters - who are getting behind the new generation Greens candidate.
Bentley farmers Peter and Meg Nielsen, angry over Thomas George refusing to support the mainstream opposition to gas, described Mr Guise as a "credible and honest man".
Mr Nielsen said he was told by senior Coalition MPs "we don't care who you vote for" after complaining about the Nationals not representing their stance against gas.
Mr Guise confidently declared the National party was "on the nose" in the region, and said he would travel the big electorate getting to know voters' issues.
"The people of the Northern Rivers recognise the National Party has betrayed them ... people are looking for a party of integrity and candidates who will actually represent the community on issues that unite us all," he said.
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