Police arrest 18 protestors blockading a coal seam gas drilling site at Glenugie, south of Grafton. Photo: Andrya Hart.
Police arrest 18 protestors blockading a coal seam gas drilling site at Glenugie, south of Grafton. Photo: Andrya Hart.

Glenugie blockade: 18 arrested, 25 charges laid

POLICE arrested 18 people today while "monitoring protest action" at an anti-coal seam gas blockade at Glenugie south of Grafton.

The company responsible for the site, Metgasco, were in the process of re-commencing a drilling operation after the Christmas break when protestors mobilised over the weekend, attempting to prevent the delivery of equipment, including a drilling rig, to the site.

More than 40 police - including members of the Tactical Response Group and Police Rescue - set about extracting some of the protestors locked-on to equipment, trees and structures.

The blockade was broken shortly after lunchtime today.

In a sign authorities are beginning to play hardball, all of the 17 adults arrested were charged this afternoon, mostly with resisting/hindering police and obstructing peoples' paths, while a 16-year-old boy arrested was issued a warning for resisting/hindering police. The 17 adults have been listed to appear in Grafton local Court in February.

In a further development, three protestors, a 47-year-old man, a 44-year-old man, and a 60-year-old woman, refused to sign their bail conditions and will subsequently appear in Grafton Local Court tomorrow.

Coffs Clarence Local Area Commander, Superintendent Mark Holahan, had earlier in the day urged all protesters to act within the confines of the law or face being arrested.

"Police will allege some members of the group took action that placed their own safety at risk, as well as the safety of police officers and the gas company employees," Superintendent Holahan said.

Details of the charges include:

  • Eight men aged 58, 42, 63, 23, 67, 50, and two who are 39 were charged with resist or hinder police officer in the execution of duty and pedestrian obstruct driver's/other pedestrian's path. They were all granted conditional bail and will appear before Grafton Local Court on 11 February 2013.
  • A 55-year-old man, a 48-year-old man, and a 52-year-old woman were charged with resist or hinder police officer in the execution of duty. They were granted conditional bail and will appear before Grafton Local Court on 11 February 2013.
  • A 52-year-old man was charged with was charged with destroy or damage property. He was granted conditional bail and will appear before Grafton Local Court on 11 February 2013.
  • A 16-year-old boy was issued a warning under the Young Offender's Act for resist or hinder police officer in the execution of duty.
  • A 60-year-old man was charged with refuse/fail to comply with direction. He was granted conditional bail and will appear before Grafton Local Court on 11 February 2013.
  • A 39-year-old man was charged with pedestrian obstruct driver's/other pedestrian's path. He was granted conditional bail and will appear before Grafton Local Court on 11 February 2013.
  • A 47-year-old man, 44-year-old man and a 60-year-old woman were charged with resist or hinder police officer in the execution of duty. They refused to sign the conditions of their bail and as such will appear before Grafton Local Court tomorrow (Tuesday 8 January 2013).


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