Anti coal seam gas protesters from the northern rivers region joined hundreds of others yesterday in Australia’s ‘longest ever protest’.
Knitting Nannas played a major part in the protest, wearing their distinctive yellow attire and waving placards against gas mining.
Local organiser Anne Thomspon said rest stops along 2500 kilometres of highway across New South Wales and Queensland were covered by the protest.
Locally, Nannas and their supporters set up outside the Macadamia Castle at Knockrow, as well as other points along the Bruxner Higway in Goonellabah and just outside Lismore on the road to Casino.
Ms Thompson said the protest action had been a huge success.
‘It was amazing … talk about from little things big things grow,’ she said.
‘Two weeks prior to yesterday that I suggested we do something on Pacific Highway in support of the planned protest on the Newell Highway and it ended up that we covered most of the Pacific Highway.
Ms Thompson said the point of the protest was to keep the pressure on the newly elected state government to cancel all unconventional gas mining licences across the state.
‘They (mining companies) have no social licence in New South Wales,’ she said.
Meanwhile, anti-gas activists are now waiting for a decision from the NSW Supreme Court regarding the suspension of Metgasco’s drilling approval for its exploration site at Bentley, just outside Lismore.
Metgasco challenged the state government’s decision to suspend its drilling licence and the court’s decision is expected this Friday.
Ms Thompson said the decision would be ground-breaking whichever way the court decided.
She said a win for Metgasco would spur more people to join the fight against coal seam gas while a loss would mark a great victory in the campaign to rid the state of unconventional gas mining.
‘So many more people are coming on board now,’ she said.
‘I was the coordinator of Sunday’s protest but people kept turning up to spots along the highway everywhere,’ she said.
‘The Nationals say they are going to buy back one of the local CSG licences, but it is a promise made just seven days before the election and a complete turnaround.
‘We are not a hundred per cent confident that they will buy it back before June 30 – their cut off date.’