A Letter to the Editor from Dr Wayne Somerville,
Clinical Psychologist - 22 April 2014
The Bentley Protectors could soon confront a massive police
Abandoning reason and
decency, the NSW Government appears locked into a high risk “shock and awe”
They hope that riot police can end our
community’s resistance to gas field industrialisation.
But Minister Roberts’ “courageous” policy
of “mining by martial law” can only succeed if we allow it to - and why would we
“Shock and awe” only works
if we are indeed shocked and awed.
But what happens if we are just “prepared
and bored”, and respond with humour and compassion rather than fear and anger?
Tactical and riot squad police are taught to neutralise
resistance with overwhelming force. The gasfield bullies talk violence and they
want us to confront the police head-on.
In their dreams, we will be so decisively suppressed
that we give up. But that is not going to happen. The people of the Northern
Rivers are not going to cop shattered communities and ruined country.
Our brave Protectors and Simmos will delay the obscene
parade. But armed riot police tend to get their portaloos and dongas in
eventually. Playing to an opponent’s strength is not good tactics.
Unplanned defiance of the riot squad would
result in mass arrests, bail conditions, and a consequent weakening of our
people power. A judo attitude in which the opponent’s force is sidestepped and
deflected, rather than met head-on, Sumo-style, is needed.
The Bentley well is not the end of the campaign – it is just
the next step along the road to victory. We will win but we need to be patient,
persistent, and resilient. Our task is not just to survive, but to thrive and
grow stronger as we go on.
succeed, the gas vandals have to build hundreds of wells and miles of pipes and
roads under constant police protection. Time is on our side.
We live here and we are not going away. The
iconic Doubtful Creek photo of a single gravel truck being escorted by a ring of
armed police still makes me smile – “Mining the Metgasco Way: What a business
There will be many more such photo
opportunities before this campaign runs its course.So let’s not follow their
Remember who you are and why you are in
this campaign. We are on the right side of history.
When you see columns of police looking mean
and nasty, remember the big picture, draw on the fellowship and support of the
good people around you, find your humour and compassion, and savour the moment.
You will be privileged to witness an event
of historical importance.
The riot police might win this skirmish,
but our determined citizens will win the war.
How ironic it will be if the police assault takes place
around ANZAC Day.
The struggle to protect our democracy and
precious country goes on.
We will honour the ANZAC tradition by
supporting our friends and persevering until the job is done.Day by day our
community grows stronger.
We are learning about unity in diversity.
Democracy will prevail.
A great good is coming from all this
Metgasco and Bentley - The Untold Story
Letter to the Editor from Dr Wayne Somerville
To date, Metgasco has a 100% rate of serious failure for tight sands gas wells.
The Rosella well at Bentley is Metgasco’s second attempt to successfully drill a
well more than 2,000 m down into a tight sands formation.
Kingfisher, Metgasco’s other tight sands
well leaked from the start,
failed dramatically during decommissioning when 200 m of bore pipe was blown
high into the air, and is subject to ongoing investigation by the NSW Trade and
Investment Mine Safety Investigation Unit.
Peter Henderson says that “It is premature to speculate, the investigation
process needs to be allowed to be concluded without hindrance”, but the
Investigation Unit has already found that throughout its life the Kingfisher
well’s “loss of integrity” allowed gas under pressure to migrate between the
inside and outside of the well casing.
The Kingfisher well is now capped, but this
failed well will forevermore allow gases and fluids from different geological
strata to mix in an uncontrollable and unknowable manner.
Metgasco does not yet know what went wrong with their Kingfisher tight sands
well, and now they plan to drill a similar well before the Mine Safety
investigation is completed. If the gas is good, they will build a gas field from
Lismore to Casino as quickly as possible.
According to the Office of Coal Seam Gas, gas extraction from Metgasco’s tight
sands gasfield is likely to require “unconventional” techniques such as fracking
and aquifer depressurisation.
But did you know that because the Bentley
well targets a sandstone formation rather than a coal seam, Metgasco’s
operations are exempt from all NSW Government CSG regulations?
Forget the hoopla about “World’s toughest regulations”, “2 km exclusion zones”,
Environmental Protection Agency oversight, Aquifer Interference Policies,
Gateway Processes, “Water Triggers”, and the rest - none of that applies in
This operation only requires the approval
of Minister Anthony Roberts.
Commonsense and good governance demand that the NSW Government immediately
suspend Metgasco’s operations at Bentley.
Metgasco should not proceed at least until
the Mine Safety Investigation is completed and this company can prove that it
has achieved the technical understanding, engineering expertise, and corporate
risk management culture necessary to successfully and safely undertake such a
To all those who oppose CSG
from Dr Jacqueline Boustany MBBS, Dip Peads, MPH (Public Health)
I am writing to suggest there is another way to effectively eliminate this
threat of profound water poisoning which would require much less effort than
that which is currently being expended by the souls at the front line.
Metgasco may fold through the courageous
efforts of direct action but may just be taken over by Dart Energy stakeholders
of Dutch Shell and Petro China.
These players have too many fingers in too
many holes in the earth to be stopped by local action and the corporate
government have shown little interest in our health or that of the environment
until close to election time.
It has become painfully obvious that
majority vote no longer rules and no matter how many petitions we sign, letters
we write or marches we attend or who in fact governs our land, this does not
change the fact that our substrata has been already sold many times over to
mining companies since white man first set foot here.
A quick revision of our current global corporate management will show us who
holds the cards and where to take action. Multinational bankers and related
companies hold the potential earnings of the land and its people as security on
the billions they manufacture and lend to the government in its endless cycle of
So effectively, their support
of the mining companies and governments rely on the money you and I pay them in
servicing our loans, credit cards, paying our taxes and rates etc.
In fact this is the only real money that
exists…. the rest is speculation and inflation, so we as the people have the
power to demand change with a simple protest.
There is only one language these people
understand and that is Money. Ergo the only way to get their attention is to
stop paying them, on masse.
Are we really going to keep asking to be heard whilst we are effectively paying
the mining companies indirectly to continue their operations? It’s time to get
smart and get organised.
We need working parties on the legal
requirements of paying off small amounts on our mortgages or credit cards in
protest( my info is they cannot take your house or your possessions if you pay
something) ; the legality of the local, state and federal government in
condoning such action against our constitution; the way to pay our rates and
taxes only if they start actually representing the majority, even if we keep the
money in a separate local building society.
This should not change the governments
legal requirements to support us financially with social security or Medicare as
long as we continue to fulfil those agreements but this can also be researched.
Get prewritten template paperwork sent out to make it easy and decide on a day
to start on mass, and we will all tip the scales of power. Many of us believe
that this is the most powerful, non-violent action we can take for ourselves and
the planet and that now is the time.