Protesters celebrate CSG win
THEY'RE stressed out and totally exhausted, but the anti-CSG protesters have breathed one hell of a sigh of relief, including Grafton's John Edwards.
For the past 18 months, Mr Edwards has been a familiar face among the masses rallying against mining company Metgasco - most recently at the Graham family farm at Bentley.
As news rolled in yesterday morning that Resources Minister Anthony Roberts had declared Metgasco's Bentley licence suspended and referred the company to the ICAC (Independent Commission Against Corruption) for insufficient community consultation, the celebrations began.
"It has been a very long road with one issue after another and it really wears you down," Mr Edwards said.
The much-welcomed news may just be a pause on the situation while the ICAC investigations are under way, but Mr Edwards was optimistic it was a step in the right direction.
"How did I feel when I heard the news? Jubilation comes to mind," Mr Edwards said.
"I just hope commonsense prevails in the long term."
He hoped the investigation would lead to a halt on CSG mining across the state.
"I hope CSG mining is chucked out and stopped altogether. It's a risk to our water, health and every week we're hearing of more problems it causes," Mr Edwards said.
"I'd like to see it banned right across New South Wales."
Metgasco may be gone for now, but protesters have declared they will remain on site at Bentley and continue to block gate 'A' of the farm.
"They may not go anywhere, but I think there will be one hell of a big party over the weekend," Mr Edwards said.
Adam Guise of protest group Lock the Gate described yesterday's decision as "a Franklin Dam moment".
Protesters at the site said they had no plans to leave and a development application for the protester camp was lodged with Richmond Valley Council on Wednesday.