Hardy protesters stand firm as CSG rig is ready to move
DESPITE horrendous weather over the past few days, a determined group of anti-CSG activists and local farmers have continued to maintain a vigil at Metgasco's next predicted drilling site at Doubtful Creek, south-west of Kyogle.
Late last week the single rig used for Metgasco's drilling operations finished its work at Glenugie, and with protesters now looking for a new place to take action against the industry, Doubtful Creek has become a potential flashpoint.
"The AJ Lucas Rig 103 will now move to its next drilling location as soon as weather conditions in the Northern Rivers allow," a Metgasco announcement stated yesterday.
The Doubtful Creek site, lying on the western border of the Eden Creek State Forest west of Knights Rd, was prepped for drilling two weeks ago by Metgasco contractors while protesters looked on.
Three protest camps have been formed in the area - a "direct action" spot just metres from the drilling site, a "reception" camp on Knights Rd, and a "main" camp on property a few kilometres from the action.
Doubtful Creek anti-CSG activist Dean Draper said while he didn't expect the drill rig to attempt entry to the site until next week due to flooding around Grafton, the vigil would be maintained.
Mr Draper said a CSG Free Northern Rivers survey of 2400 residents of the Kyogle local government area showed 91% were against CSG, and he was expecting a large show of support for the non-violent protest. Local farmers Don Knight, Don Durrant and Roger Wimble - multi-generational farmers from the Kyogle region - said they were making a daily effort to attend the vigil.
"The drill site is at the head of the gully that runs down into my dam... I'm worried about the birdlife, my cattle and my water supply," Mr Knight said.
"We feel a sense of betrayal from our fellow landholders in the area and a real sense of disgust that this is being done without real consultation."