You can't unchain a ‘hero's' heart
LISMORE'S Davey Bob Ramsey was lauded as a hero by anti-coal seam gas protesters yesterday when he emerged from Casino court yesterday.
Cheering protesters presented him with a yellow beanie with the word "hero" on the front after all charges against him for chaining himself to a bulldozer at a Metgasco site at Shannon Brook near Casino on June 20 were dismissed.
Mr Ramsey was passionately represented by solicitor Sue Higginson from the Lismore Environmental Defender's Office who told the court her client took part in "non-violent direct action".
"His decision was facing the court today or facing a future of coal seam gas fields in the region," she said.
"He was part of the peaceful organised protest to draw attention to coal seam gas activity in the region."
She said Mr Ramsey chained himself to the bulldozer for around four hours in an attempt to stop the excavation of CSG wastewater ponds at the Shannon Brook site.
"Mr Ramsey felt compelled to make a public statement to draw attention to the matter."
Magistrate Jeff Linden acknowledged the "huge anti-CSG local protest movement" in sentencing Mr Ramsey.
"I can't, of course, condone the actions because it does breach the Enclosed Lands Act," Mr Linden said.
He dismissed charges of refusing to comply with police and entering enclosed lands against Mr Ramsey.
He also made an order for no court costs to be paid and no compensation to be paid to Metgasco for damage to the bulldozer.