News

Bentley farmers: Opposing gas doesn't make us "anarchists"

Bentley farmers Tony Davis, left, and Robert Lowrey don't want to see Coal Seam Gas activity divide their community.
Bentley farmers Tony Davis, left, and Robert Lowrey don't want to see Coal Seam Gas activity divide their community. Cathy Adams

THE idea that all gas opponents are hardened leftish eco-activists has been contradicted by a group of 32 Bentley farmers, who have thrown their support behind a letter opposing any gas exploration in their area.

But you won't see them manning blockades in full view of television cameras - that's not their style.

Beef cattle farmer Tony Davis and retired dairy farmer Robert Lowrey, who co-wrote the letter, said the idea of a local gas industry originally seemed like a good idea.

Mr Davis originally had a test well on his family's 180ha property and had no problems with Metgasco's management of the well or the rehabilitation of the land.

He only became concerned after realising the potential scale of industry involved.

"When they started talking about pipelines and gasfields, that was the trigger point when I decided I better do some more reading about it," he recalled.

"For this gas thing to be viable, there's got to be roads and wells and a lot of infrastructure."

They were not impressed by the idea of hydraulic fracturing - the stimulation method used to get gas to flow, and the copious amounts of water drawn out of the well and stored in dams.

"If it's commercially viable, then what? We really have no idea where it will end," Mr Lowrey said.

Since writing the letter they have shown it to 39 farmers (of about 45 in the Bentley valley) - and 36 support it. That's a number Mr Davis said he expected to grow as they handed out the statement to more people. 

Here's a link to the letter here:

http://www.echonews.com.au/news/we-are-farmers-we-are-worried/2223997/

All farmers who support the letter own at least 60ha of land, and many are descendants of original settlers, living on land only ever owned by the one family.

What motivated the two of them to help formulate the letter was the stereotypical image of protesters being bandied around in Sydney and the national media.

"Our household became very annoyed when we were told we were anarchists trying to destroy the state's economy - my family has been contributing to the NSW rural economy for 150 years," Mr Lowrey said.

"We're still doing what we came here to do, and doing it successfully.

"I think what most of us are really concerned about is that we might end up with great divisions in our community."

Topics:  bentley coal seam gas editors picks metgasco



VOTE NOW: Which town has the best Christmas tree?

Casino's Christmas tree 2016.

It's your last chance to vote for your favourite

'This is not a statistic to be proud of. It is a disgrace'

A heavy vehicle driver was charged with mid-range drink-driving and driving unlicensed after his truck - which was carrying a large excavator - was pulled over.

POLICE have shown their disgust at recent road statistics

How much will Ballina Shire rates increase (if at all)?

A decision will be made this week on Ballina Shire rates for 2017-18.

It's decision time for Ballina's new council

Local Partners

Hacksaw Ridge wins big in first round of AACTA Awards

Luke Bracey and Andrew Garfield in a scene from the movie Hacksaw Ridge.

THE major awards will be handed out on Wednesday night.

Paris Hilton fumes at clumsy partygoers

A reveller spilt their drink on Paris Hilton's DJ decks

Winnie Harlow isn't a role model

Winnie Harlow insists she isn't a role model.

Felicity Jones proud of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story role

Felicity Jones feels it is "important" for a woman to head Rogue One

Kiwi's plea to Ellen DeGeneres to save bakery after quake

Ellen... we need your magic.

Family had to be helicoptered out after powerful quake

Seacrest: Things are "going better" for Kim and Kanye

Ryan Seacrest says things are "going better now" for Kanye West

Banks reclaim Gladstone homes as job losses bite

LONG FALL: Property experts Heron Todd say, based on key market indicators, Gladstone is still travelling to the bottom of the market, with property prices set to get cheaper.

Property valuers say Gladstone housing market hasn't hit the bottom

The million dollar property to test Mackay's market

This Victoria St building will go to auction Tuesday and investors will be watching closely to see how much it sells for.

'High profile architect designed CBD asset' goes to auction

Chinese locked out of Australian property market

The rules are different if you're a foreigner

The buyer was from China - the trouble started right there

Morrison signs off on new affordable rental model

Australia's Treasurer Scott Morrison speaks during a press conference after a meeting of the Council of Federal Financial Relations at Parliament House in Canberra, Friday, Dec. 2, 2016.

Scott Morrison signed off on development of a new financing model

Coast high-flyer's fight back from bankruptcy, $72m debt

Scott Juniper went from millionaire developer to declaring bankruptcy in2012, now he is back on top of his game again with new developments including this one in Coolum.

'Apocalyptic lending storm' causes financial collapse.

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!