The president of the Lock the Gate Alliance, Drew Hutton, will be attending the blockade of coal seam gas company, Metgasco, today (Thursday) at Doubtful Creek near Kyogle.
Organisers are expecting perhaps as many as 200 blockaders to be at the site.
Mr Hutton said the Lock the Gate movement was committed to stopping Metgasco from establishing a foothold in the Northern Rivers and would continue to mount blockades whenever the company attempted to enter a new drill site.
Lock the Gate Alliance has called on the Federal Environment Minister to reject the proposed Boggabri coal mines tomorrow, including the Whitehaven Maules Ck Project, or to expect legal problems. A decision is due on the mines under Federal Environment laws on the 7th February.
An independent scientific study released two weeks ago indicated the environmental assessments on which the mines were based was flawed and that the data used was incorrect.
"We are calling on the Federal Environment Minister to think long and hard about this one - it would be a very bad precedent to approve these mines based on false and incorrect information," said Carmel Flint, campaign co-ordinator with Lock the Gate Alliance.Read more
Media Release, 4th February 2013, Hunter & Central Rivers Alliance
A new regional alliance of 34 community groups has called on NSW Premier Barry O'Farrell to suspend all licenses subject to the current Independent Commission Against Corruption inquiries under Operations Jasper and Acacia.
The Hunter and Central Rivers Alliance (HCRA) is a collaboration between community groups (listed below), covering the Central Coast, Greater Hunter, Gloucester, Great Lakes, and Manning Regions.
The groups in the Alliance are campaigning to restore balance to decision making on coal and coal seam gas development in the region. The Alliance met in Rutherford over the weekend.
“The evidence given in ICAC hearings last week is damning,” said Steve Phillips, regional coordinator for Lock the Gate, one of the HCRA groups. “While we recognise that the investigation is not over, it would be irresponsible to allow continued exploration in license areas that may have been issued under a flawed and corrupt process.”
“A pause on exploration is a sensible response that recognises the impact that uncertainty around these projects is having on local communities, landholders, and other stakeholders,” said Phillips.
Lock the Gate Alliance has today called on Federal Environment Minister, Tony Burke to step in to protect Central Queensland communities and the environment from toxic mine waste water currently being pumped from flooded mines in the Bowen Basin.
At least 20 coal mines have released contaminated waste water directly into rivers in Queensland since the floods started late last week. In some cases, water has been discharged directly from pollution ponds. There is no requirement to treat the water before it is discharged.
"The Queensland government has shown that it does not have the backbone to stand up to mining interests and protect our whole community and our outstanding assets like the Great Barrier Reef from toxic mine discharges," said Ellie Smith, spokesperson for Lock the Gate.Read more
Today's blockade of coal seam gas company, Metgasco, at Glenugie near Grafton was a huge success despite the company's drill rig making it onto the property.
It took a force of about 80 police nine hours to clear the blockaders and eighteen people were arrested.
Six of those arrested refused to accept bail conditions and will spend the night in the cells before being brought before a magistrate in the morning.
The bail conditions would have made it illegal for any of the six to go within three kilometres of the site and has been used by police in the past to try to shut down such campaigns.
Lock the Gate Alliance president, Drew Hutton, said the day showed the fighting spirit of the Northern Rivers.