Five more protesters arrested
SIMMERING tensions at Metgasco's Glenugie CSG drill site came to a head again today when five protesters were arrested by police while obstructing outgoing trucks.
The trucks were being used to remove drilling equipment to Metgasco's Casino headquarters.
Three of the five protesters arrested yesterday had also been arrested on January 7 and were deemed by police to have breached good-behaviour bail conditions.
The Glenugie anti-CSG camp has remained active - despite the region experiencing its biggest flood ever - since an earlier 48-day blockade of the drilling site culminated in 18 arrests on January 7.
Metgasco announced it had finished its exploratory drilling at the site earlier this week and intended to move to its next drilling location as soon as weather conditions permitted.
Protesters said they wanted to stop the trucks from going to what they say they believe is Metgasco's next drilling site at Doubtful Creek in Kyogle Shire.
Grafton local Pam Wickham said protesters at the site had been "harassed" by security guards around the site, verbally attacking them and giving one of the protesters "a nudge".
"A vehicle also came out of the gate a short while ago and tried to run over a protester, which we've reported to police," Ms Wickham said.
Lock the Gate Northern Rivers spokeswoman Boudicca Cerese said the Glenugie protesters were justified in opposing the industry at every opportunity.
"Communities have done all they can in terms of government processes. All that's left now is doing direct action," Ms Cerese said.
"People want them to leave but they don't want them going anywhere else either."
Metgasco public relations manager Richard Shields questioned the timing of obstructing the trucks, which were removing some minor equipment to its Casino headquarters, during a national emergency.
"Can these activists justify this police attention when events such as the recent floods are so demanding of emergency services?" Mr Shields asked.
While the AJ Lucas drill rig remains at Glenugie, the focus of protest action is shifting to Doubtful Creek, where a steady build-up of local farmers and activists is under way in preparation for the next major blockade.