Chain reaction to coal seam gas
A TYRELESS 1980s hatchback became the temporary home of a determined anti-CSG protester yesterday after a woman chained herself to the vehicle in an effort to stop Metgasco's imminent CSG drilling operation at Doubtful Creek.
The colourful vehicle, adorned with the slogan We said no CSG and an Aboriginal flag blocked access to the drilling site along with several other parked cars during yesterday's continuing anti-CSG blockade.
Just after 11am, Goonellabah resident Naomi Tarrant attached herself to an installation in the ground beneath the car and declared she was prepared to stay overnight if needed.
A male protester sat chained to a bamboo tripod 4m above the ground in the middle of the access road to the site through Eden Creek State Forest.
More than 120 protesters attended the blockade yesterday with expectations running high of the imminent arrival of Metgasco's drill rig.
Yet in contrast to Monday's concentrated police presence, only a handful of police were stationed there and by 3.30pm had made no attempt to arrest the pair of locked-on protesters.
The blockade site on Knights Rd is now well-established and includes a mobile kitchen, several shaded tarpaulins, and a "prayer tent".
Among the protesters were Kyogle Shire graziers, veteran activists, the Knitting Nannas Against Gas and young families.
Police said the two locked-on protesters were trespassing on Eden Creek State Forest - which was closed to the public on Monday - but since no vehicles were trying to access the site they would not be charged for obstruction.
Police liaison and self-described "concerned citizen" Gordon Fraser-Quick said protesters were using the time to prepare and co-ordinate, with anticipation mounting of a major blockade.
"Tomorrow we expect to turn away Metgasco; tomorrow we expect to protect the ground of the Githabul people," Mr Fraser-Quick said. "We're celebrating community unity, we're educating one another about the benefits of a CSG-free environment. Mostly what we're doing is simply talking to one another," he said.