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Aussies Against Fracking
Metgasco are going to try and force their way into the
Northern Rivers despite overwhelming community
opposition. This is where Australians need to make a defining stand against the
CSG industry. Will you join them at Camp Liberty?
From the blockade: "Police just drove past
Bentley Blockade honking horns and cheering!!!!!!!!"
METGASCO DRILLING APPROVAL SUSPENDED
15th May 2014 Minister for Resources and Energy Anthony Roberts has today
announced the suspension of petroleum exploration and production company
Metgasco Limited’s right to drill an exploration well at the Rosella site, near
Bentley in Northern NSW.
Mr Roberts said the Office of Coal Seam Gas (OCSG) has informed Metgasco of the
suspension on the grounds that it did not fulfil a condition of its exploration
licence, namely to undertake genuine and effective consultation with the
community as required.
“OCSG is conducting an ongoing audit of all Petroleum Exploration Licences and
is focused on ensuring company compliance with title conditions,” Mr Roberts
“I have been advised by OCSG that fundamental concerns have been expressed by
members of the effected community about the way in which Metgasco has
characterised its activities.
“On 13 May 2014 the Director of OCSG and the NSW Land and Water Commissioner
held a meeting with local landholders, at which matters of consultation between
the community and Metgasco were raised.
“The Director of OCSG has now suspended the approval to construct the Rosella
E01 gas exploration well.”
Mr Roberts pointed out that this suspension refers to Petroleum Exploration
Licence 16 (PEL 16) which covers the Bentley site near Lismore and was
originally granted by the Carr Labor Government in 1996.
“Metgasco must now demonstrate to OCSG that it has complied with this
fundamental condition of its licence,” he said.
Separately, Mr Roberts also announced that he has written to the Commissioner of
the Independent Commission Against Corruption following receipt of information
concerning shareholdings and interests in Metgasco Limited.
“In accordance with Section 11 of the Independent Commission Against Corruption
Act, I have referred this to the Commissioner to ensure that any decisions
pertaining to PEL 16 have been made entirely properly and without any undue
interest or influence.”
Minister's PR here
Lock the Gate welcomes drilling reprieve
for Northern Rivers
May 15, 2014 · The Lock the Gate Alliance has welcomed the announcement this
morning that a controversial unconventional gas drilling licence in the Northern
Rivers region has been cancelled, and the company, Metgasco, referred to the
Lock the Gate President, Drew Hutton said, “Plans to drill for gas at Bentley,
near Lismore, have galvanised the community and brought people together from
across the region in an unprecedented blockade to protect the region from
invasive gasfields. We offer our warm and heartfelt congratulations to the
people of the Northern Rivers for this incredible people’s victory.
Gasfield Free Northern Rivers Coordinator Ian Gaillard said, "It is heartening
to see the NSW Government responding to community concerns about corruption and
abuse of process by this company, and we thank Minister Roberts for his action.
"The blockade at Bentley sprang up in response to abject failure of the
regulatory system to protect land and water from mining, and put the public
Drew Hutton concluded, "We hope that the State Government heeds the lesson from
the Northern Rivers and embarks on root and branch reform of coal and gas
regulation. This means no-go zones to protect communities, rivers, groundwater,
farmland and forests and regulatory reform to restore balance in regional NSW."
For pictures of the Bentley blockade visit the
Gasfield Free Northern Rivers Flickr page here.
Metgasco's announcement to the ASX
Metgasco Drilling Approval Suspended
15 May 2014 Metgasco today advises the following:
Metgasco has received advise from the NSW Office of Coal Seam Gas that it must
suspend all work on the Rosella E-01 exploration well until the company can
demonstrate to the satisfaction of the Office of Coal Seam Gas that Metgasco
complied with condition 8 of the PEL 16 exploration license regarding community
Metgasco is confident that it is in compliance with the PEL 16 license
conditions and is seeking to demonstrate this to the government.
The company is in the process of mobilising a drilling rig to the Rosella well
and therefore this advice from the government comes at a very critical time.
Accordingly, the Company has sought and obtained a 48 hour ASX trading halt
pending the opportunity to meet and discuss the matter with the government so
that there may be a clearer understanding of the outlook for rig mobilisation.
Metgasco will advise the market as soon as the situation becomes clear.
Alan Jones on the Bentley Gas Mine
May 14, 2014 Alan talks to Rosemary Joseph, Ros Irwin and Reverend Jim
Nightingale about the blockade, the proposed mine, and suggestions hundreds of
police are about to descend on the area.
Listen to the audio here
Operation Stapler (Bentley Gas Project)
7th May 2014
NSW Police Association Circular No. 19
Under normal circumstances an operation of this magnitude would require a
considerable period of careful planning. Unfortunately, the planning for this
operation is constrained by a far shorter timeframe.
Lismore Mayor says Southern Cross
University has backflipped on Bentley police catering
9 May 2014
ABC - The Lismore Mayor says Southern Cross University would have risked its
reputation had it agreed to feed police sent to the Bentley protest site.
Jenny Dowell says the university's commercial arm, Norsearch, had entered into a
The university later put out a statement saying it would not be providing
catering services, but is refusing to say if it has pulled out of an existing
Cr Dowell says SCU was flooded with complaints when news of the original deal
began to spread.
"And I think that they've responded to that and realised that the community does
not wish them to be providing food for this operation," she said.
2014-03-30 The farmer whose land
Metgasco is on, Robbie Graham, was specifically misled to expect a single well
and no social objections! The farmer whose land the camp “Liberty” is on, Mr
Scarabelotti, has experienced of the gasfield round Roma, QLD, and is now
totally opposed to them. In general terms the public has been misled
particularly re jobs, how many gained short-term by non-locals, how many lost
permanently by locals.
Camp Liberty 30 March 2014 4:40pm
2014-03-30 9:00pm Happy to confirm
over 2000 people at the Bentley Blockade and people are still arriving . We are
most thankful to have so many people to support We really felt we needed at
least 2000 when confronted by 100 normal police and 100 riot police. The
question is will they move into Marshall law and deliberately destroy a peaceful
direct action of this size whilst so many people watch around the globe. Police
sent to remove people fighting to save our water supply and our fundamental
human right to protect out planet from unbridled greed and selfishness. This is
where the tide turns and regardless of what happens the real change begins. Aum
Shanti xxx PRB
12.30am These two vehicles parked on Magellan Street outside the Lismore
City Motel. Marked 'Rockwell'.
Sun, 30 Mar 2014 10:17:15 +1100 -
Ann Dean - Today people from all over this country are gathering at Bentley to
defend the region from Coal Seam Gas.
88% of the population have rejected the Government’s plan to industrialise the
Written submissions, signed petitions, letters and e-mails to the Government
have all been to no avail.
Sadly, we live in a democracy where our politicians have lost the ability to
listen to the voice of the people they represent.
The local population will not sit back and allow their region to be
Across the state and country, thousands of people who can’t be at the site are
supporting the efforts of the Northern Rivers people.
Coal Seam Gas Mining and Fracking has been proven to impact on air, soil and
underground water. It also has a history of negative impacts on both human and
animal health, overseas as well as in Queensland.
All members of the State and Federal Governments should hang their heads in
shame, for they have failed the Australian people by allowing mining companies
to rape and pillage our land for profits.
Shame Shame Shame ! ! !
2014-03-29 11:49pm Police expected
with gas miners to Bentley on Monday or Tuesday. Please be available on site
before dawn both days. Overnight camping from Sunday. Expect early police
traffic "management." Be prepared to walk.
We don't know what they will do or when but anticipate Police will do all they
can to keep protectors from interfering with gas miners trying to remove
protectors blocking the entrance to drill site and we need numbers there to
demonstrate that they do this over the protest of the community. Where is
democracy when about 90% oppose gas mining in the northern rivers ? We need to
show we care. Police from Sydney booked at Lismore for next 2 weeks
Battle for Bentley - Holly gets it and she's only 10 years old
85% of local residents do not want Metgasco
to return to Bentley, just west of Lismore and NE of Casino in NSW
"The farmer who has allowed the
Access Agreement doesn't even live there"
(see video below)
DAY 2: 2014-03-29 8:11pm Road closure going
to happen tonight. Maybe no chance to get in tomorrow. Seek alternative
route. Full activation at campsite happening right now. Very small number of
DAY 1: 2014-03-28 - Rural Fire Service volunteers at Bentley are
resigning after their fire station has been taken over by the police, against
local's wishes, to direct the 100 riot police and 100 regular police converging
to break the blockade
DAY 1: 2014-03-28 - Mokkx Hanley reporting: Word is
out of massive Police overkill coming to Bentley, with an estimated 200 strong
army including 100 Riot Squad.
The community signs at Bentley NSW say it all ...
Metgasco is not wanted by 84.5% of the local population.
They have no social license and never will
According to Metgasco's website "In March 2013, Metgasco
suspended if (sic) Clarence Moreton Basin field operations because of
uncertainty of NSW government support and regulations. Field operations and
subsequent development and production will recommence when the regulatory
environment is judged to be more favourable."
Sunrise & the Angel