23.3 C
Byron Shire
May 9, 2021

CSG pair hit with ‘window washing’ charge

Latest News

Join Clarkes Beach paddle out this weekend to stop massive oil and gas field project

Hundreds of local surfers and water-lovers will paddle out at Clarke’s Beach over the weekend to protest against a massive oil and gas field proposed for the NSW coast.

Other News

Byron Council to introduce car-free Sundays in the centre of town

Byron Council has taken a further step toward getting cars out of, and pedestrians into, the centre of Byron, by voting to introduce car-free Sundays.

Ballina Shire for the next 4 years: time to have your say

The Ballina Shire Council’s Draft Delivery Program and Operational Plan 2021/22 - 2024/25 will be on exhibition until the 28th of May with provisions for public feedback. 

Co-op meeting

Annette Snow, Myocum As a Mullumbimby Rural Co-op shareholder of 42 years and a past employee of over 13 years,...

Independent wants to be Byron’s new mayor

Independent Byron Shire Councillor Basil Cameron has announced his candidature for Mayor.

On-farm restaurant’s sustainable vision

Frida’s Field is an on-farm restaurant based in Nashua, just ten minutes from Bangalow. Hosting three long lunches per...

No air for Ben

Rhonda Ansiewicz, Federal Stop giving Franklin air time. Mayor Richardson, in his usual fashion, joins up with his mate Franklin...

Chris Dobney

A new charge slapped on two protesters at the Glenugie CSG test well site by police is intended to ‘stop people trying to wash car windows at intersections’, according to the men’s legal adviser.

Alan Roberts and Bradley Rankin were set to appear before Maclean Local Court on Tuesday in what was to have been a test case, with some 26 other protesters awaiting trial on similar charges.

But the case was adjourned after police dropped the original charges and subsequently introduced a single new charge against both men.

Rankin had previously been charged with hindering police and Roberts with being a pedestrian obstructing a driver.

Both are now charged with ‘attempting to obstruct a driver’.

Speaking to Echonetdaily yesterday, lawyer Philip Wkyeham was highly critical of the entire police process.

‘[The local police] informed us last Thursday that these two charges were definitely dropped and so they wouldn’t be proceeding and that all the other Glenugie charges would be dropped,’ he said.

‘They said it had to be confirmed by Sydney but that this was what was going to happen.

‘Then on Friday we got a phone call from somebody in Sydney we’d never dealt with before who said, “no that’s true. The charges are going to be dropped but we’re going to place new charges”.

‘On Monday, the people in the local police prosecution office [still] didn’t know what was going on.’

‘It wasn’t till Monday afternoon that I got a copy [of the new charge].

‘When we went down to Maclean on Tuesday, we didn’t think [the charge] actually existed. But it exists in a rather convoluted way because of one of the sections of road rules refers to the Commonwealth Act… which is there to make the road rules uniform throughout the states,’ Mr Wykeham told Echonetdaily.

He said the change of charge suggested police were clutching at straws.

‘We felt fairly confident because we’d had people up in Grafton on similar offences and we’d managed to get the charges dismissed.

‘The police [then] had failed to follow procedure in one instance and, in the one with the vehicle, there was actually no vehicle anywhere in the vicinity. And they had to establish that if someone was going to obstruct a driver they had to demonstrate there was a driver actually there.’

Mr Wykeham was also highly critical of the amount of money being spent by the police in pursuing the case.

‘All the police witnesses turned up and hung around and didn’t get to do anything because essentially it was just a legal argument between the counsel acting for the CSG protesters, Ben Cochrane, and the prosecutor, who’d travelled all the way up from Sydney to do this.’

It wasn’t only the defence team who were frustrated by the situation.

APN media reported that magistrate David Heilpern awarded costs of $5,510 against the police and described the prosecution’s behaviour as ‘unreasonable’.

The new charges will be heard at Ballina Local Court on August 15.

Previous articleBurning of forests mooted
Next articleHonouring his pop

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.

3 COMMENTS

  1. yes… police corruption, defence of the corporate rape of australia and utter disregard for the needs of the people is alive and well within the australian police force today…

  2. Well said Max. The state Liberals and most of Labor (note the recent ICC revelations) are pandering to the rich and greedy against the wishes of the majority of people. A judge in England once quipped “The Law treats both Rich and Poor equally. Neither group is allowed to steal bread or sleep under bridges.” Except in post-colonial Australia the wealthy and well connected seem to get away with stealing our resources for a pittance.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Man dead after boat capsizes near Yamba

Police say a man has died and a second has been taken to hospital after a boat capsized south of Yamba this morning.

Jonson Street bus shelter gone and an era ended

Byron Shire Council says that the wooden bus shelter on Jonson Street outside the Byron Visitors Centre is being removed today with all bus services operating from the new bus interchange on Butler Street in Byron Bay

Upside down river

Tim Harrington, Lennox Head Letter contributor Richard White (letters 21/4/21) quite correctly identifies the Richmond River as an ‘upside down river’ and nowhere is this more...

Ballina Dragons’ great results at Urunga

The Ballina Dragon Boat Racing Club is a group of paddling people from all walks of life who enjoy being out on the water having fun and keeping fit.