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CSG clash a 'certainty'

Southern Cross University academic Aiden Ricketts believes conflict is inevitable.
Southern Cross University academic Aiden Ricketts believes conflict is inevitable. Scott Harlum

CONFLICT is inevitable in the fight against coal seam gas, Southern Cross University academic Aidan Ricketts has told a protest meeting at Casino.

Mr Ricketts was among anti-coal seam gas activists to address the crowd of about 200 at the protest outside the office of Metgasco yesterday.

The peaceful action continued a protest which began on Friday against Metgasco performing seismic surveys of an area on the eastern edge of the town.

Mr Ricketts echoed the words he published in an online essay on Tuesday evening.

He said the Government and the mining companies had ignored the will of the people as expressed in the September 8, Lismore City poll which showed 87% of residents opposed the industry.

"When governments and corporations combine to steamroll communities in the face of such overwhelming opposition it is inevitable that serious conflict will result," the essay read.

Mr Ricketts said the organised movement against the industry would maintain its peaceful, non-violent direct action approach, but not all elements of the movement could be controlled.

"The social movement does not and never will condone theft or any real intimidation of persons," he said.

"The organised movement will be peaceful, but the organised movement can't control all elements, especially in rural areas. Farmers resisting invasion of their farms by gas companies may do things - and have the means to do things - no social movement organiser would ever recommend."

Mr Ricketts said nobody wanted to see violence or vandalism erupt and that he was a lifelong advocate of peaceful protest. He hoped people would put their trust in the organised movement.

Topics:  coal seam gas metgasco southern cross university



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