Farmers say ‘enough’
KYOGLE Shire Mayor Ross Brown has called on Doubtful Creek protesters to move on, following a meeting with frustrated landowners who feel intimidated by elements of the anti-CSG community.
"They've achieved as much as they can possibly achieve with the protest action so far. All they're now creating is bad feeling," Cr Brown said yesterday.
Kyogle Council met with residents from some 15 Doubtful Creek properties on Thursday, who say they have been negatively affected by the month-long Knights Rd protest.
The council will now draft a set of protocols to manage any future protests and avoid these kinds of issues happening again.
"Our protocols will address such issues as parking, camping, toilet facilities, keeping the road free, and working with the protest groups and keeping the local population as minimally affected by it as we possibly can," Cr Brown said.
He said some local landowners had reached "the final straw" and had sought help from the council to take more responsibility for the situation.
"The crux of the matter was on Tuesday night, a gentleman out there was trying to get his cattle to market and they blockaded his gate in and they wouldn't move, and he couldn't get his cattle out," he said.
"They feel harassed, they feel intimated and it's been going on for so long they almost feel like they're under siege."
Cr Brown said the situation had reached the point where it was detrimental to people's state of mind.
"Realistically, if I was involved in a protest now, and being aware of the way it's been going on, I think those groups should pack up and move," he said. "The downside to this is now outweighing whatever it is they think they're picking up."
Lock the Gate spokesman Ian Gaillard said tensions were rising after almost four weeks of protest.
Mr Gaillard said he had successful meetings with both Kyogle Council and senior Richmond police two weeks ago to discuss concerns about safety and respect issues at the site.
But he said the trouble lay with the NSW Government.
"The Northern Rivers is becoming a pressure cooker because the State Government continues to impose this industry on an unwilling community by force. The onus is on the government to pull back and slow this whole process down."