News

Protesters resume waiting game as Metgasco drilling on hold

STILL STRONG: Elmar Wolters of Ocean Shores at the anti-CSG protest in Bentley camp.
STILL STRONG: Elmar Wolters of Ocean Shores at the anti-CSG protest in Bentley camp. Mireille Merlet-Shaw

THE Bentley protest has returned to a waiting game with a significant drop in numbers yesterday, but organisers are confident they have a large community of people "on call".

Gasfields Free Northern Rivers spokesman Adam Guise said the group had "above 1500" on its red alert SMS list and "growing daily".

But Metgasco CEO Peter Henderson refuted claims Monday morning's 2000-strong turnout had derailed the company's plans, saying activities were "influenced by weather and availability of the drilling rig, neither of which we control".

Mr Henderson would not confirm when pre-drill operations would begin, citing commercial-in-confidence.

Richmond Valley Council has given approval for earthworks at the main blockade entrance to allow truck access, according to general manager John Walker.

Other jobs required before drilling can commence include fencing around the drill site and the construction of the temporary workers' camp.

Adding to the delay, the drill rig required for the main job is reportedly bogged in Queensland, following 250mm of rain falling in parts of the Darling Downs over the weekend.

All this suggests work may not start for some time, but protesters are not fazed.

An almost festival atmosphere has descended on the muddy main camp, where new infrastructure has been constructed at a furious pace.

Ocean Shores psychotherapist Elmar Wolter, who came to the camp a week ago said the volunteer-run camp was "self-organising".

"You don't come here to sit around - you see it, you do it," Mr Wolter said.

Veteran environmental activist Bronwynne Coutts said the terms "rent-a-crowd" and "lunatic fringe" were no longer applicable, with people coming in the morning and then leaving for their day jobs.

"On Saturday night we had people coming in literally 50 cars an hour all night," she said.

Knitting Nanna Against Gas and Lismore resident Jennie Dell said "newbies" were being trained in non-violent direct action techniques on almost a daily basis.

"We're trying to train up as many people as possible that verbal abuse and shouting at police is violent behaviour."

Topics:  bentley, csg, gas, metgasco



Man stabbed multiple times in groin and back, woman charged

A man is in a critical condition after being stabbed multiple times

Fluoride completely healthy, says medical authority

The fluoride plant at Corndale.

No evidence to link low fluoridation to harmful health impacts

Local Partners

Kate goes down fighting in heated Survivor elimination

Australian Survivor contestant Kate Campbell.

YOGA teacher's 'good guys' alliance fails to get off the ground.

Emily Blunt's (almost) singing career

Emily Blunt nearly became the British Britney Spears.

Angelina is blocking calls from Brad Pritt

Angelina Jolie has reportedly blocked Brad Pitt's number.

Encounters on stage at Lennox Head

COMING SOON: Dancers Elizabeth Venn and Tess Eckert are part of Encounters, the upcoming performance by SPRUNG!! Integrated Dance Theatre Inc.

By Sprung!! Dance Theatre Inc

Apocalyptica 'seek and destroy' sceptics with 'master' set

Apocalyptica play Max Watts in Brisbane on their Shadowmaker Tour.

Review of final show of Apocalyptica's tour

Rebecca Hall doesn't own a TV

Newspapers, yes. Television, not so much

Buyers forking out millions

Owners benefiting from undersupplied Northern Rivers market

UPDATE: Former rodeo champ's sale rained out, now back on

Larkhill local Ken Consiglio is having an auction of most of the things on his property.

'People kept showing up and we had to turn them away'

Couple build their own 'tiny house' for $45k

Holly Bowen and Oli Bucher built their "tiny house" themselves, only hiring a plumber and an electrician. Photo/supplied

The house, which is built on a trailer and can be towed.

Sunshine Beach property breaks real estate record

The property overlooks Sunshine Beach, as the backyard lawn meets the sand.

Sunshine Beach mansion sale smashes real estate record

New $33 million development planned for Ballina Shire

The site of a proposed seniors living development at Skennars Head.

Plans include 211 homes, clubhouse and recreational facilities

SOLD: Historic hotel finds new owner

Post Office Hotel Grafton

Photo Adam Hourigan / The Daily Examiner

Pub in new hands and heading in a brand new direction