17.9 C
Byron Shire
May 18, 2021

Jubilation on frontline

Latest News

Interview with Peter Castaldi

The Quad in Lismore presents its first outdoor cinema event – programmed by nationally regarded film critic and programmer, Peter Castaldi. Peter told The Echo about the vision.

Other News

Warm vibe on a cool night

S. Haslam Wandana is a small local brewery set up in an ex-warehouse in the industrial estate of Mullumbimby, with...

Lismore City Council declares housing emergency, wants more units

A Lismore City Council housing survey had shown more than 60 per cent of residents were living by themselves or with one other person, Cr Ekins said, prompting ‘a real need for smaller housing or units’.

A hands up poll

Helena Norberg-Hodge and John Page, Byron Bay Hands up everyone who wants another high-end tourist resort in Byron: a place...

Business calls for Tweed train tracks to be kept ignored

More than 800 people had signed a petition calling for a new rail trail to be built next to, rather than in place of, the existing disused railway line running through the shire.

One-way traffic trial for the Byron Arts and Industry Estate

The trial is described by the council as a 'quick-win action' from the Byron Arts and Industry Estate Precinct Plan.

Flickerfest tour returns to the Northern Rivers

Celebrating 30 years in 2021 Flickerfest is bringing its National Tour to The Regent Cinema Murwillumbah for one big film packed this weekend


Story and photos Marie Cameron

Yesterday’s jubilation was the culmination of months of protest in difficult conditions at a remote location by a concerned group of ‘Earth protectors’, many of whom had little or no previous experience at direct action or anti-government protests.

For the last two months the Githabul traditional owners, local farmers, community members and concerned citizens had given their all to repel Metgasco and their plans for CSG exploration at Doubtful Creek. From the beginning Metgasco had it all their way. Large numbers of police and the rural riot squad pushed the 300 strong crowds back to get the drill through to private property owned by Steve Casey. Arrests mounted as people put their bodies on the line: people used colorful and inventive methods to register their objection but to no avail.

Once Metgasco had the drill in place they gained more government support. This time it came from Forests NSW. The Eden Creek State Forest stretched between the new test site and the closest good road access on nearby Knights Road. Forests NSW managed the area as a pine plantation and had started its harvest program. On the front gate Forests NSW attached a warning of a pesticide spraying program and declared it a no-go zone. Metgasco won again by using Forests NSW as a buffer zone to keep protesters away; to operate out of public view and without any environmental observation by Earth protectors.

A kitchen was established at the Eden Creek entry, the local farmers came each day to deliver water and service the portable toilets. People came from everywhere with food and good wishes. The rains came down and the mud oozed. Always, the protestors keep the pressure on and did what they could to stymie Metgasco. When Metgasco announced they had successfully installed the mine people felt deflated. Confusion over protest direction arose between the many CSG free groups and the campaign stalled. Within a week it regained momentum and Metgasco once again needed police protection to get some of its equipment off site.

The drill rig was not a part of that removal and to this day it waits ready for transportation. Earlier this week a meeting between all parties and Forests NSW revealed Metgasco was waiting on the police to provide them with a suitable escort time.







Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.


  1. Three years ago I warned my builder who was reveling in the price rise of his CSG shares that he should sell because on top of the inflated expectations of profits there was about to be a major political backlash. Best stockmarket advice I ever gave.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Byron Bay FC undefeated in ’21

Ross Kendall Despite having a bye last weekend the Byron Bay FC premier division women’s team sit on top of the premiership table with an...

Interview with magician James Galea

James Galea is no ordinary magician. He’s not the smarmy guy in purple velvet with a cage full of pigeons sawing women in half. In fact, James is proud to say he has never cut anyone in half.

Mandy Nolan’s Soapbox: Stirring the Tea Pot

A house without tea is not a home.

Greens mayoral candidate apologises to deputy mayor over misogyny scandal

The Greens’ Byron Shire mayoral candidate says he’s drafting an apology to current deputy mayor and fellow party member Sarah Ndiaye, after publicly defending a man accused of intimidating her.