‘SILLY ACT’: A Police Rescue officer cuts through a steel box to free a protester as an RFS officer stands by with a fire hose.
‘SILLY ACT’: A Police Rescue officer cuts through a steel box to free a protester as an RFS officer stands by with a fire hose. Lachlan Thompson

Cageman stages a late protest

IN WHAT police have called a silly act, an CSG protester locked himself inside a steel box which was driven through the gate of Metgasco's Glenugie test site yesterday.

About 5am a maroon Holden Barina, towing a "Traumatron" crashed through the site's gate. The Traumatron was a steel box a protester had been welded into.

Police and the Glenugie Rural Fire Service were called to the scene soon after.

The RFS sprayed the car with fire-retardant foam, as there was a concern it was leaking petrol.

About 10.30am a Police Rescue Unit arrived from Coffs Harbour and began cutting the steel with an angle grinder.

Protesters raised concerns for the safety of the man.

Police finally cut the man out at 1.50pm.

He was arrested to face multiple charges including hindering police, property damage and obstructing traffic.

Inspector Tony Milner said the protest soaked up scant police resources.

"We do what we have to but the sad fact is a lot of resources had to be allocated to freeing this individual who imposed this situation on himself," Insp Milner said.

"The majority of the protesters were well behaved but it is always a few silly ones who end up forcing the police to get involved."

A Metgasco spokesman said the test well had been plugged and operations were finished.



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