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Protesters party it up at Bentley Blockade

WELCOME INTERVENTION: Moods were high at the Bentley Protest Camp just outside of Lismore after the NSW government announced a suspension of Metgasco’s exploratory licence. Campers and visitors danced to music, listened to speeches and celebrated early in the morning. Some campers still maintained their resolve to stay at the camp until the issue is resolved.
WELCOME INTERVENTION: Moods were high at the Bentley Protest Camp just outside of Lismore after the NSW government announced a suspension of Metgasco’s exploratory licence. Campers and visitors danced to music, listened to speeches and celebrated early in the morning. Some campers still maintained their resolve to stay at the camp until the issue is resolved. Marc Stapelberg

WITH LAST week's unprecedented decision by the State Government to suspend Metgasco's licence to drill in PEL16, the Bentley Blockade just earned a place in the history books - and now the State Library of NSW wants a piece of the action.

The library has issued a call out for memorable primary material from the social phenomenon that was Bentley.

Of interest are copies of images, posters, placards, campaign letters and even digital ephemera such as tweets, and group emails.

Mitchell librarian Richard Neville, the man charged with overseeing the library's Australian history research archives, said archivists assessed events for their long-term historical value.

"The skill of the archivist is keeping what's likely to pass the 100-year test," he said.

Mr Neville said the CSG issue had been on the library's radar for some time.

"We're not trying to pick sides, but in regional NSW it is clearly one of those huge flashpoint issues that seems to unite conservatives and greenies."

"Anything to do with coal-seam gas is something important, but given the profile of the Bentley Blockade it provides a focus to the collecting."

Mr Neville said there was two levels of "stuff" the library wanted, firstly the ephemeral such as tweets, bits of paper, websites etcetera. "Unless you collect it now, you're never going to get it," he said.

The other is the more formal documentary material; the letter writing to ministers and heads of industry, and other documents such as minutes and notes from meetings and press releases.

"The two complement each other," he said.

The State Library established the Rainbow Archives in the 1990s to record alternative communities and movements such as the Aquarius Festival and the Terania Creek anti-logging protests, which some Bentley materials would fit into.

 

At a glance

Bentley Blockade materials drop-off points for free delivery through the library to the State Library's historical collection:

Lismore Public Library at 110 Magellan St

RTRL Headquarters building at 6 Centenary Dr, Goonellabah

The Casino Library.

Please try to drop off TWO of everything if possible: One for the local history collection in Lismore (Richmond-Tweed Regional Library) and one for the State Library.

Topics:  bentley blockade, csg, metgasco



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