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



Man shouts "get out of my country" before fatal shooting

Adam Purinton, of Olathe, Kan., who was arrested early Thursday, Feb. 23, 2017, in connection with a shooting at a bar in Olathe that left one person dead and wounding two others.

A Kansas man has been charged with shooting dead an Indian man

Cars toot during Lismore street protest

Hundreds march through the Lismore CBD on Saturday in support of refugees

Hundreds march in support of refugees

Found: do you own these roads?

Rappville Pub.

A red tape error from more than 100 years ago has created mystery

Local Partners

Cars toot during Lismore street protest

Motorists gave their morale suuport to a street protest about refugees on Saturday


Northern Rivers gig guide

PIRATE FLAG: The Hussy Hick's latest single is a crowd favourite that echoes a sentiment of political scepticism. Hear Pirate Flag at Tintenbar Upfront, Tintenbar Hall, tomorrow 7.30pm. $20.

What's on this week in local entertainment

Top 10 things to do this weekend

Reece Smith, Ernie Angelosanto and Shayne Smith will compete for the top of the leaderboard at this weekend's Jodie's Inspiration Golf Day.

Are you looking to get out and about over the next two days?

Teeing off to support Jodie's Inspiration

Reece Smith, Ernie Angelosanto and Shayne Smith will compete for the top of the leaderboard at this weekend's Jodie's Inspiration Golf Day.

Vie for the top of the leaderboard, if you dare

Un-American tale makes Lion weakest link in Oscars line-up

PSYCHOLOGY researchers find US films and actors most likely to win accolades at the Oscars.

Can rightful winner Midnight take out golden Gosling in Oscars?

Can Lion pip La La Land at the post in this year's Oscars? Sunny Pawar (pictured) helped bring a powerful film to the big screen.

WILL Aussie film Lion triumph or will popular La La Land prevail?

Living End, Grinspoon stars hit stage for American Idiot

Chris Cheney of The Living End stars in the Australian production of Green Days musical American Idiot at Brisbane's QPAC Theatre.

TAKE a look behind the scenes of Green Day's American Idiot musical

Northern Rivers gig guide

PIRATE FLAG: The Hussy Hick's latest single is a crowd favourite that echoes a sentiment of political scepticism. Hear Pirate Flag at Tintenbar Upfront, Tintenbar Hall, tomorrow 7.30pm. $20.

What's on this week in local entertainment

Samuel L Jackson dismisses La La Land ahead of Oscars

Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone in a scene from the movie La La Land.

Hollywood actor and Oscars voter says Denzel should win top gong

The trick homeowners are using to buy more properties

Chantelle Subritzky leaves her home each week for Airbnb guests.

Queenslanders are going down this path to help pay their mortgages

Stunning home blends South Pacific beauty with Orient style

Immaculate residence with two outdoor living areas

$140k damage: landlord says property trashed, contaminated

He had what he calls "the tenants from hell"

Submarine, buses and 3000 tyres removed in $100K clean up

The list of things removed from this property is beyond astonishing

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!