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Byron Shire
March 9, 2021

Step removal leaves slippery slope at Bentley

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Council workers remove steps built by land protectors adjacent to Metgasco's CSG test well site.
Council workers remove steps built by land protectors adjacent to Metgasco’s CSG test well site. Photo Chris Mansergh

Anti-CSG protesters at Metgasco’s gas test well at Bentley were greeted by a strange sight yesterday morning.

Last week volunteers built a small set of steps on sloping a roadside verge adjacent to the site to ensure better comfort and safety for protesters of all ages and abilities.

Yesterday, four Richmond Valley Council workers, a truck and an excavator were deployed to remove them.

A bemused protester said he was told they were being removed on the grounds that ‘they didn’t meet Australian design standards’.

The protester told Echonetdaily he ‘expected this whole hillside will now become a treacherous slippery track and safety hazard for protesters, forcing us onto the even more dangerous roadway below’.

Echonetdaily has emailed Richmond Valley Council for an official explanation and is awaiting their response.

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  1. The council workers said they were some of the best made steps they’d ever seen!! All that hard work to make things safer – for nothing!!

  2. Each one of these antics shows our strength and their fear. Despite the juggernaut we will prevail. There are too many of us and we will not abandon our responsibility to protect our precious land and water for the generations to come.

  3. This would be usual step taken to intimidate/discourage protectors doing their (voluntary) jobs.
    Make it as difficult as possible, giving totally disingenuous reasons for “health & safety”. Of course, given that the majority of Protectors are tax/rates payers, can we request the council build steps to their satisfaction? Probably not….. so my question is…. who in Richmond council wishes to stuff up the protectors?
    This just makes me more determined to join the protector ranks. Maybe Metgasco will build us better steps!!!! Probably not 🙂


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