Protesters buoyed as farm family takes action at Glenugie site
GLENUGIE protesters say their spirits were lifted yesterday when a local farming family chained themselves to a ute, surrounded it with cattle fence, and made their attempt at blockading the CSG test drilling site.
Seven men and one woman, whose ages ranged from 21 to 43, were arrested in the latest protest against Metgasco's test drilling after police and Police Rescue were again called to the scene yesterday morning.
Protester Jan Younger, a Glenugie organic blueberry farmer, said a local farming family arrived in the early hours of yesterday morning to add their voice to the protest.
"We didn't even know they were coming," she said.
"This family decided as a family to take action.
"There were several generations of the local farming family involved."
Men chained themselves to a Toyota Hilux utility, which was then barricaded with cattle fencing shortly before 6am. It is understood a young girl was in the back of the ute.
They were cut loose by Police Rescue by 10am.
"They are very concerned they weren't asked or communicated to about this (CSG)," Ms Younger said.
"Most had no idea what CSG was and that family decided as a family to take the action."
Ms Younger said the family's action was very encouraging.
"We've had communication that farmers want us to go away, but this was a significant farming family in this area supporting us," she said.
"It buoyed us all up that they came out and stood with us.
"It was a very emotional thing."
All eight of those arrested were released on bail by police yesterday afternoon with most charges relating to hindering police.
They will appear in court next month as will a further 18 protesters who were arrested at the site last week.
Yesterday afternoon, Ms Younger said things had quietened down.
"It's very subdued this afternoon with a lot of people talking with the police," she said.
A Metgasco spokesman said it wouldn't be appropriate for the company to comment on the issue as it was before the court, but yesterday's protests had had "no impact on our drilling program".