12th May 2014 - Fresh into their new jobs
after their predecessors recently resigned following ICAC (Independent
Commission Against Corruption) revelations, NSW Premier Baird, Police Minister
Ayres and Resources Minister Roberts refused to meet with Bentley farmers who
are seeking a political solution to end the Bentley Blockade.
Anthony Roberts began his term as NSW
Minister for Resources and Energy on 9 December 2013 following Chris Hartcher's
removal due to revelations at ICAC.
On 23 April 2014 Mike Baird started his term as the new NSW Premier following
the resignation of Barry O'Farrell due to revelations at ICAC.
Following the resignation of Mike Gallacher from cabinet and the Police Ministry
on 2 May 2014 due to revelations at ICAC, Stuart Ayres is new Police
Published on May 2, 2014 A group of farmers from Bentley in the Northern Rivers
of NSW talk candidly about the threat to their area from invasive gasfields,
Metgasco, and the protectors who have come to help.
12th May 2014 - Former Byron Shire mayor
and now upper house MLC, Jan Barham (Greens), told
Echonetdaily, ‘I was very pleased to be able to assist the delegation while
they were in the parliament and encourage other MPs to hear the locals’ fears
about their future if Metgasco proceeds.
‘The Christian Democrats and Robert Borsack from the Shooters and Fishers Party
did meet with the Bentley delegation and respectfully heard their side of the
story,’ Ms Barham said.
‘Many ALP and Coalition members also met with the Bentley farmers, but It was
extremely disappointing that the premier did not take the time to sit down and
listen to the concerned citizens of Bentley.’
Ms Barham said that many MPs raised questions and spoke about the Bentley
blockade and the use of police against the protectors.
‘The new premier is now aware of the broad community opposition to CSG on the
north coast and the requests for him to review the situation,’ she said.
‘The government is claiming that the Metgasco’s Bentley operation is a lawful,
low key project that should be allowed to proceed and that the blockade is
‘But many people have concerns that the Bentley exploration approval is the
Trojan horse of industrial scale gas production for the north coast.
‘The community are savvy enough to realise that it’s crucial to stop this now,
so that the sustainable future that locals want is possible.
‘As I raised in an adjournment speech last week, Mr Baird’s inaugural speech in
2007 stated that he expected the Liberal Party to lead the restoration of a
community-based party in this place.
‘He said at the time: “We should never be ashamed of listening to our conscience
nor to our community—in essence this is why we are here”.
‘Premier Baird should listen to the community and reverse the licence approval
and call off the police intervention on a peaceful, democratic response to an
unwanted industrialisation of the north coast.
‘This issue will be a test for the new premier and the government and will
impact on next years election.’
Bentley farmers head to Sydney to find
political solution to blockade
6th May 2014 - A group of Bentley farmers went to Sydney with the hope of
speaking to politicians about their concerns over unconventional gas exploration
in their area.
The farmers visited state parliament after requests to arrange meetings for them
with senior state politicians were ignored by Lismore Nationals MP Thomas
George, who's son works for Metgasco.
The mayors of Lismore, Byron and Kyogle joined 1,000 or more at Bentley to
farewell the farmers and put on a show for Channel 7 Sydney which had sent
cameramen to cover the story.
‘People were absolutely inspired and galvanised today, and motivated to keep
doing what they’re doing,’ Gasfield Free Northern Rivers spokesperson Adam Guise
‘They realise it sends big shockwaves through the halls of power and puts the
government on notice that we’re a non-violent movement and we’re not about to
lie down and let them turn the northern rivers into a gasfield.’
He added that peaceful protests like this morning’s ‘bring people together,
build trust and build relationships. We’re prepared, united and non-violent.’
He said he was not certain what ministers the group of landholders would be able
to speak to but was ‘confident there will be some people they can meet with’.
But he added that one of them would not be new mining minister Anthony Roberts.
‘Mr Roberts said he was not prepared to meet with us unless we announce civil
disobedience as he did not want to “consort with lawbreakers”.
‘Given the former premier and resources minister have just resigned in the wake
of ICAC revelations we’re asking who are the ones consorting with lawbreakers?’
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.