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Byron Shire
May 7, 2021

All eyes on Bentley as D-day approaches

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Sunday and Monday will be critical days at the protectors’ camp adjacent to the Bentley gas drill site, activists say.

Sunday March 30 will be a day of workshops, activities and the second Gigs Not Rigs event at Bentley Hall from 1pm.

Musicians including Toni Childs, one-man-band Nathan Kaye, didg master Si Mullumby (Wild Marmalade) and virtuoso Paul George (Tijuana Cartel) will entertain the swelling crowds.

Other performers giving of their time and talents include Peter Hunt (Kooii), Murray Kyle, Bodhi Seed with his new band Brainstorm, Laura Targett, Ilona Harker, Jarmbi Githabul, Ruth Rosenhek, 10-year-old activist Holley Sommerville and many other special guests.

The suggested donation for the event is $15, with all proceeds go directly to the camp and maintaining this immediate campaign.

But that’s not all that’s happening.

Kicking off from 9am is ‘artistic co-creation for the cause’. Visitors are urged to bring art materials to share for banner and sign making: paint and brushes, white sheets, boards, etc.

From 10am-1pm there will be a workshop titled Dare to be Alive! Deep Ecology and Compassionate Action, facilitated by Ruth Rosenhek and Non Violent Communication teacher Paulette Narai Brown.

After the gig, from 6.30pm onwards, visitors are invited to share a dinner and jam (with more awesome musicians) around the fire.

As many people as possible are being encouraged to camp out on Sunday night, with activity at the Metgasco site anticipated as early as Monday.

Northern Rivers Guardians (NRG) say they expect a busy week with ‘the beginning of the earthworks /drill pad/ entrance/ FIFO camp in preparation for a likely drill rig arriving around April 7.’

NRG says, ‘a traffic management plan is to be implemented that will turn the area into a worksite. Vehicles on the 100k Kyogle/Lismore Road will be required to slow down to 40 k with point people and stop/go signs present for mining entry.’

If you plan to visit the Bentley vigil site from Lismore, take Casino Street west towards Kyogle. Travel 18km from Lismore, at which stage you will be on Bentley Road.

The visitor’s centre is the first visible sign of the protest, situated on the right hand side of the road. Access to the visitor’s centre is via Bungabee Road.

Visitors are asked not to park on the edges of the road. Richmond Valley Council has erected No Stopping signs and is imposing a $234 fine for all vehicles parked on the roadside.

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