Police move in on Glenugie CSG blockade
SEVEN people have been arrested after 150 protestors and more than 40 police converged on Metgasco's drilling site at Glenugie near Grafton this morning.
According to reports the Police Rescue Squad is currently cutting the chains of protestors locked-on to various equipment and devices.
Police have established a mobile command centre across the road from the drilling site but no one has yet been charged.
Officers from the regional Tactical Response Group are also in attendance.
Following social media alerts over the last two days, protestors mobilised across the Northern Rivers, travelling to the site overnight as Metgasco workers attempted to commence drilling operations after the New Year's break.
Lynette Eggins from CSG-Free Northern Rivers described it as a "show of power by the people of the Northern Rivers" as they continue to "stand strong at the Glenugie CSG protest today".
"The police are in the process of jack hammering a protester free from a lock on device. Another remains locked on to a convoy vehicle," she said from the site a short time ago.
"The most recent arrest occurred when a protestor attempted to give water to another protestor who was locked on."
Police have released two protestors by grinding off their lock-on devices while a protestor who was arrested earlier this morning while locked onto a large tripod has now been released.
Ms Eggins said protestors were still blocking access to the site with one locked-on to a tree platform, another hanging from a suspended aerial wire and two more attached to devices in the ground barring access to the site.
"The drill rig and a number of other large trucks carrying equipment and Metgasco work vehicles are still waiting to enter the site," she said.