News

Police should have stepped in at Bentley sooner: Metgasco

Protesters at the Bentley Blockade in April.
Protesters at the Bentley Blockade in April. Mireille Merlet-Shaw

POLICE should have intervened at Bentley before the situation escalated to a crisis point where 800 officers were needed, Metgasco CEO Peter Henderson said.

Mr Henderson was commenting on government documents released last week describing the unprecedented tactics used by activists and the "high to extreme" risk to the public and police of any confrontation.

In hindsight, he said the best time for police to act was when protesters had first established a presence outside the proposed drilling site in January.

That was also when some activists started "abusing" the Grahams, who had signed a land access agreement with Metgasco for the Rosella exploration well.

"I think that was a mistake that we didn't act when the law breaking started initially," Mr Henderson said. "These protesters did not have to spend months of property damage, trespass, and intimidation of the Grahams."

The company had asked police to "go in early" and arrest protesters breaking the law, given Metgasco's past experience at previous blockades at Doubtful Creek and Glenugie.

Activist blockade tactics had become increasingly brazen and sophisticated as the anti-gas campaign gained public support.

At Bentley, installations included a concrete bunker occupied on a rotating shift, buried obstacles and road spikes, mass lock on devices, and the use of flammable liquids to prevent police from cutting any devices.

Mr Henderson was clear his views weren't meant to be a criticism of the police, whom he described as professional and consistent.

Instead, he condemned those protesters who led such strategies or passively supported them.

"The fact they were prepared to use flammable liquids … they were endangering their own lives and the lives of the police who uphold the law," he said.

Topics:  bentley bentley blockade metgasco nsw police force



LISTEN: Resident airs frustrations over parking debacle

Paid parking has pushed hospital commuters into suburbia, proving problematic for residents.

Parking pressures felt in suburbia of hospital precinct

Slaves in Byron: The dark side of housing crisis

Housing generic.

A darker side to Byron's economy

NSW Sport comments on Lennox Head Ski Jump

An artist impression of the Ski jump facility at Lennox Head. The size of the structure has upset locals, but it may not be as big as it appears in the artist impression.

Lennox Head Ski Jump on its four week exhibition

Local Partners

Lismore City Council to demolish much-loved Lake Pool

LISMORE City councillors have backed down from spending $2.75 million to refurbish the Lismore Lake Pool, the scene of many happy childhood memories.


First female superhero film in 12 years

AMAZON: Actress Gal Gadot in a scene from the film Wonder Woman.

Wonder Woman opens next Thursday

Stories Troy Cassar-Daley carries around

LEGEND: Troy Cassar-Daley after receiving the Golden Guitar Award for Album of the Year during the Tamworth Country Music Festival in January.

You can see him in Ballina this weekend

What to expect at Birds of Tokyo's Ipswich gig

The band will perform at the Racehorse Hotel on Friday.

BAND member Glen Sarangapany talks music, pub grub and doing shoeys

Kim Kardashian slammed over Manchester tribute

KIM Kardashian has been slammed by her followers after posting a tribute to the victims of the Manchester terror attack.

Top Gun 2 movie is happening, Tom Cruise confirms

Tom Cruise in a scene from the movie Top Gun.

TOM Cruise delights fans with announcement on Sunrise.

The first Baywatch movie reviews are in

From left, Jon Bass, Alex Daddario, Zac Efron, Dwayne Johnson, Kelly Rohrbach, and Ilfenesh Hadera in a scene from the movie Baywatch.

Critics were less than impressed.

Boyfriend loses it over sex lie

Stacey Louise’s sex lie destroys her relationship.

SEVEN Year Switch’s Stacey told a fib about her sex life.

Why Crowe’s thankful for those ‘bulls**t’ rumours

Russell Crowe and Terri Irwin in 2007.

Crowe and Terri Irwin have been dodging dating rumours for years now

Stars line up for writers festival

POPULAR: Byron Writers Festival 2016 recorded the biggest crowds in 20 years of the event.

John Safran, Deng Thiak Adut and Dava Sobel among others

MOVIE REVIEW: King Arthur - Legend of the Sword

Charlie Hunnam in a scene from the movie King Arthur: Legend of the Sword.

Why the critics have got Guy Ritchie’s King Arthur all wrong.

How Toowoomba house prices compare in Australia

For sale sign in front of home.

Here's what $700,000 will buy you in Toowoomba, Brisbane and Sydney

Slaves in Byron: The dark side of housing crisis

Housing generic.

A darker side to Byron's economy

Bonville to become new housing hub

REZONING: Large areas of Bonville have been rezoned for residential

Land rezoning will turn farmland into housing

One of Maryborough's most historic homes is still for sale

FULL OF HISTORY: Trisha Moulds is owner of the historic Tinana state known as Rosehill. The beautiful home is currently for sale.

It has been the scene of both joy and tragedies over the years.

The face of the Sunshine Coast's overpriced rental crisis

Alyx Wilson had to rent a $385 unit in Currimundi because the market was too competitive for cheaper rental housing. She is now renting a room from friends who own a house in Currimundi, and says its much more affordable.

Young people feel the strain in competitive, expensive rental market

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!