Mayors welcomed at CSG blockade
TWO North Coast mayors and two councillors are on their way home after visiting a coal seam gas blockade at Glenugie, south of Grafton, today.
Byron Shire mayor Simon Richardson, Byron councillor Basil Cameron, Lismore mayor Jenny Dowell and Lismore councillor Glenys Ritchie spent much of their time at the blockade talking to protesters.
"There were a lot of people there today, perhaps about 100," Cr Dowell said.
"Spirits are high and people are feeling positive.
"There was one confrontation this morning when a truck tried to leave a drilling site.
"But the police were called and I think the whole thing was handled very well."
Grafton social worker and protester, Frank Falkenstein, said the altercation occurred when protesters attempted to collect a sample of water being trucked out of the drilling site.
"The truck came out and (Metgasco workers) said it was just water so we asked for a sample and they refused," he said.
"We were able to obtain a small sample in the end when (the protester) was able to dip into it.
"There was about 60 protesters there today and they were very positive to have the mayors visit to offer support, especially the Grafton people because they felt a little let down by our own mayor not being there," he said.
Clarence Valley deputy mayor Craig Howe thanked two Northern Rivers mayors for visiting the blockade and said they were welcome in the Clarence Valley.
He added that local councillors were notified of their impending visit but were unable to attend due to being on leave.
"Our mayor Richie Williamson received an email on Tuesday but unfortunately he is away and is subsequently unable to join the other mayors at the site," he said.
"Their support means a lot to everyone in the Clarence Valley who oppose coal seam gas.
"I also plan to visit the Glenugie site soon."
Tweed mayor Barry Longland had planned to visit Glenugie with the other mayors, but gave his apologies due to unforseen commitments in Murwillumbah.