23 C
Byron Shire
February 28, 2021

Three arrested as Metgasco retreats

Latest News

Mt Warning ban

Chris Gee, Byron Bay Indigenous readers be advised that the following letter contains references to persons deceased. I read with some...

Other News

A closer look at Byron Council’s fossil fuel investments

Is Byron Council putting its money where its mouth is when it comes to reducing carbon emissions?

Constitutional referendum/poll for LG elections for Byron Shire?

Is the wards fight back again? Byron Shire Council staff have advised, in the upcoming agenda, that ‘Council may conduct a Constitutional referendum or poll in conjunction with the Local Government Election, to be held in September 2021’.

Man rescued from Upper Wilsons Creek causeway

At about 10pm last Friday a man from Mullumbimby was driving his his car along Upper Wilsons Creek Road and was swept into the creek.

Interview with Sarah McLeod

Sarah McLeod is a passionate woman. She’s Aussie rock royalty, front person of The Superjesus and a powerful solo performer. In this interview she talks about her two loves, one new and one gone; her piano and her dog. One found, and one lost, during lockdown.

Green Spine parking

Ian Kingston, Mullumbimby I am concerned at the apparent loss of parking spaces proposed in the centre of Mullum under...

Craig Kelly quits Liberal Party

Federal Member for Hughes Craig Kelly has resigned from the Liberal Party, technically throwing Scott Morrison's government into minority as it grapples with scandals from within and without.

Marie Cameron and staff reporters

19-removal 9
Police rescue officers working to remove the final, locked-on ‘simmo’. Photo Marie Cameron


Drill rigs left Metgasco’s Doubtful Creek test drilling site yesterday afternoon as the company sets about mothballing its operations for the future.

Three people were arrested when ‘earth protectors’ on the blockade’s frontline put on a final show of force, including several locked on to the ‘Githabul Growler’, an old car that had been attached to a concrete block in front of the main exit.

The final day of the Doubtful Creek Protest started with an early morning red alert.  Police arrived just after 5am in unmarked cars with the lights off.

As protesters were in a smoking ceremony the police rushed the Githabul Growler.  The three protesters (one woman and 2 men) who were organized to lock on to the inside of the vehicle scrambled in and connected their locks with seconds to spare.

Police closed off Knights Road from both directions preventing people from driving to the site.  For a short time people were able to walk in but very quickly police closed off all access.

The 40 strong police force took control of the protest and restricted people’s movement to confined areas.  The gate and front fence of Eden Forest were removed and heavy earth moving equipment carrying rock and earth were brought in.  As a makeshift road was built around the Githabul Growler the police rescue squad began their protester removal process.


First to be released was the woman, followed by simmo-Marty leaving the man with the most difficult lock-on.  He was positioned on the front passenger floor and had his arm threaded through a hole in the floor and down into the ground.  To get him out police had to first cut the car away from his arm and then push the car back to expose his ground lock.  After almost five hours the last simmo was taken away. The Githabul Growler, the final symbol of blockade resistance was pick up and unceremoniously dumped to the side road to be finished off with some heavy duty flattening techniques.  All that was left was a battered and twisted mess of metal.

Once the entry was clear the final road repair went into hyper drive until a front tyre on the back hoe blew out causing protesters great joy.  Hours later Metgasco’s equipment started to roll out and the police held tight control of the protesters as they prepared to give the drill the collective boot. Two of the simmos arrived back with charges of resisting an order to move and blocking a road way.  The final simmo was on bail from protest offences at Glenugie and is to appear in the Lismore Magistrates courts this morning.

After 50 days, the Doubtful Creek blockade came to an end at 3pm yesterday but local opponents of the industry are renewing calls to other coal seam gas (CSG) miners with licences over the area to stay away.

Police build a road around the 'Githabul Growler'. Photo Marie Cameron
Police build a road around the ‘Githabul Growler’. Photo Marie Cameron


Dart Energy warned

‘Dart Energy should think long and hard before they try to drill for CSG in the Tweed Valley’ according to Lock the Tweed spokesperson Michael McNamara.

Dart Energy recently purchased Petroleum Exploration Licence 445 (PEL445) from Arrow Energy, which covers 44,000 square kilometres from Tweed Heads in the north to Broadwater in the south and Drake (between Casino and Tenterfield) in the west.

PEL445 includes about one third of the Tweed Shire.

‘All communities in the Tweed Valley that lie within this exploration licence have declared themselves Gasfield Free’ Mr McNamara said.

‘These declarations followed a comprehensive road survey of residents seeking their views’

‘If Dart Energy decide to try to impose their operations against this wall of community opposition I am confident they will get the same reception that Metgasco received at Glenugie and Doubtful Creek recently’

‘They have no social licence to operate here’

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. Right on, Michael. A very cold reception will await them. Thank you to the three who locked on yesterday- you are heroes. And shame on the police who kept me and others away from the (former) drill site. It was our right to see off that foul industry at close hand, given the profound suffering and trauma it has caused by its presence. Once again I and others are left feeling betrayed – even violated – by the people who should be protecting us – the people with whom they share a community – from the unwelcome invasion by a company and its employees who have (and demonstrate by their actions) no meaningful investment in our beautiful home. Good riddance, MetgasGONE.

  2. Hallelujiah! Congratulations to the General for the final lock on at Doubtful Creek and a job well done. Of course CSG will try to get back into the area but for now, a small group of protestors, off their own bat, not a part of Lock the Gate but concerned citizens doing what they can do because they are prepared to almost lay down their lives to protect our most precious commodity, our earth and water. Heartfelt thanks and admiration to them. Some have been at the site for 16 weeks!! and now they can go home and regroup until the next battle.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

‘The Great Reset’

Gary Opit, Wooyung I appreciated the letter by Lucas Wright (17 February) on the Great Reset conspiracy fantasy. With our privileged, western, simplistic understanding of...

Letting go

Mary McMorrow, Mullumbimby I respect the parents forgiving the drunk driver who killed their four children (one a cousin) as their way of dealing with...

Ministers misbehave

Keith Duncan, Pimlico Accusations of appalling behaviour by the Liberal Party in covering up misdeeds within its ranks just keep on keeping on. The last...

Transparency needed

Janelle Saffin MP, State Member for Lismore. I read with interest Mia Armitage’s front page article in last week’s Echo ‘Electorates miss out on bushfire...