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Byron Shire
March 6, 2021

Musos pop-up at Bentley Blockade

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Aussies Against Fracking team Nick Hanlon and Amanda Shoebridge, presented AAF patron, Ash Grunwald with an original Reg Mombassa artwork of Ash surfing the Condamine River in SE QLD.
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Like a scene from a spy movie, seven cars pulled up at a guarded gate on Saturday afternoon, but instead of black suited secret agents, some of the north coast’s highest profile musos stepped out to surprise and support protectors at the Bentley Blockade which has now had people locked-on for six weeks.

Nick Hanlon and Amanda Shoebridge from Aussies Against Fracking organised the northern rivers super group that included Ash Grunwald, Kram from Spiderbait, Wolfmother’s Andrew Stockdale, Scott Owen from The Living End, Pete Murray and free surfer and percussionist Dave Rastovich, to perform a spontaneous gig for the Bentley protectors, some of whom haven’t left the site since the vigil began almost three months ago.

‘The visit promoted the lively cultural centre at the Bentley blockade and camp’, said Ms Hanlon. ‘It was also intended to counter claims made by gas mining company Metgasco’s CEO, Peter Henderson, that only hard-line professional activists are present at the blockade site.’

The musicians were visibly moved by the people at Bentley and the determination of the protectors. They were generous with their time and energy, playing for an hour then staying around for photos and autographs.

'I take my hat off to you', Wolfmother's Andrew Stockdale gives his support to the Bentley Protector
‘I take my hat off to you’, Wolfmother’s Andrew Stockdale gives his support to the Bentley Protectors.

Wolfmother’s Andrew Stockdale electrified the crowd before picking up his guitar with his message of support. ‘Nobody here is here for money’, he said. ‘Keep fighting. I take my hat off to you.’

Ms Hanlon says that entertainers from around the country and the world are starting to visit Bentley. ‘This is where the future of unconventional gas extraction in Australia may well be decided’, she said.

‘The general consensus is that if it cannot be stopped in Bentley, it cannot be stopped anywhere. More than half of the landmass of Australia is covered by coal and gas licences or applications.

‘As well as contributing to the protection of the area’s land and water, protectors may at any time be entertained by visiting performers’, she said with a hint of further pop-up appearances.

‘The protectors have vowed to stay as long as it takes to safeguard this valuable agricultural land from a toxic legacy – an unnecessary legacy when there are renewable energy alternatives available.’

~ Photos The Tree Faerie


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  1. Will Bentley become the Terania Creek of environmental protection? We were in the forest for eight weeks before former Labor environment minister Paul Landa called a moratorium that saved the old growth forest. It was called The Tip of the Iceberg and the Protector Movement at Bentley is the same. Be strong because so many people are with you in spirit if they can’t be there in person

  2. So inspiring! I was there at the Terania Creek protest in 1978 ( I was only two but my wonderful parents took me) and I then went on to grow up in Terania Creek surrounded by like minded forest people. I have no doubt the Bentley protests will have a similar significance, it is so fantastic to see people standing up for the environment in this way. I’ll be there in a week or so if all goes to plan- anyone who can make please go and be another supporter- it is so important.

  3. As Nan Nicholson pointed out, even if they do get a mine into Bentley (unlikely now!) it won’t mean we can’t stop them at another point. Every time Metgasco want to sink a well somewhere this will happen. This can’t be profitable.


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