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June 15, 2024

Arrow agrees to negotiate after CSG protest

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Protesters at an Arrow Energy test-drilling site at Kerry Valley near Beaudesert in Queensland are regrouping after the company agreed to negotiate with them over the weekend.

A total of 12 people have been arrested at the site – many of them from the Northern Rivers.

Wanda Halden from Rock Valley Gas Rangers says she is ready to return to the site despite being arrested there last week.

‘I will go back there to support the Kerry community of farmers and concerned citizens. This is a peaceful community group who are just trying to protect their livelihood and the health of their livestock, themselves and their children, and prevent contamination from occurring up there,’ she told ABC radio this morning.

On Saturday, 28-year-old NSW schoolteacher Daniel Robins climbed down from a seven-metre drilling rig after more than a day, when Arrow agreed to his demand for negotiations.

But when he climbed down he was arrested and charged with trespass. He is due to appear in court today.

On Friday afternoon Northern Rivers Guardians CSG campaign coordinator Michael McNamara told Echonetdaily the most disturbing aspect of the blockade was that police were ‘acting as a private security firm for Arrow’.

‘The local community is asking for such radical things as baseline water testing and genuine consultation,’ he said.

On Friday police arrested three people after they refused to move, including Alan Roberts from Nimbin Environment Centre and Wanda Halden. They were charged with refusing to follow a police direction and are due to appear on 1 February.

Apart from some Northern Rivers supporters, most of the protesters are local farmers and eco-tourism operators.

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