CSG protesters on high alert
ANTI-COAL seam gas protesters are on "high alert" this weekend with the expectation Metgasco will soon commence drilling at one of three sites.
A blockade against exploratory drilling at Glenugie, south of Grafton, has been going for 50 days and Metgasco has been unable to access the site.
Further drilling is also expected to commence at Banyabba, halfway between Grafton and Casino, and Doubtful Creek south-west of Kyogle.
Lock the Gate Northern Rivers spokeswoman Boudicca Cerese said protesters were preparing to mobilise against the movement of Metgasco's single drilling rig from the company's Casino office.
"Everyone is pretty much on alert now... we're expecting the rigs to be moved from Casino and for a larger police presence to be escorting them," Ms Cerese said.
An anti-CSG blockade in August last year at Fullerton Cove near Newcastle was only broken up after a NSW Police Tactical Response Group was deployed.
Metgasco CEO Peter Henderson did not respond to whether the company would require extra police to commence drilling.
"We are a legitimate and safe business, our activities are approved by the NSW Government and we have adhered to the law," Metgasco public relations manager Richard Shields said.
Doubtful Creek resident Dean Draper said a vigil was being maintained at Casino to alert protesters at the drilling sites to imminent movement of the drill rig.
Mr Draper said he expected Metgasco to commence drilling operations on a site adjacent to his property in the coming days.