Locals arrested as police break up blockade
AT LEAST seven residents from the Lismore, Richmond Valley and Kyogle areas were arrested during police action at the Glenugie blockade yesterday.
Overall, 18 protesters were arrested.
It is understood that Nimbin resident Benny Zable and Lock the Gate Northern Rivers spokesman Ian Gaillard (pictured)were both apprehended by police from the Tactical Response Group just before noon.
Mr Gaillard, a Keerrong resident, was apparently arrested for passing a bottle of water to a locked-on protester.
The majority of the arrests occurred once police made a concerted effort to move people on from the site and arrested anyone who did not immediately comply.
Two women arrested were also from Lismore, according to CSG Free Northern Rivers spokeswoman Annie Kia.
Coffs/Clarence Local Area Commander superintendent Mark Holahan issued a statement just before noon yesterday indicating police would have a zero tolerance approach to protesters obstructing entrance to the site.
"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.
Three of those arrested, including Mr Gaillard, were refused bail for failing to accept bail conditions which prohibited them from revisiting the Glenugie site.
Greens NSW mining spokesman Jeremy Buckingham issued a statement arguing the conflict highlighted the gas industry's failure to gain a social licence for CSG.