More than 1,000 people gathered at Gate A this morning, the core of the Bentley anti-gas protests over recent months, for a final 5am ‘welcome the dawn’ gathering to celebrate their success in having the petroleum exploration licence for the site suspended.
Shares of junior gas explorer Metgasco, which held the licence for the site, tumbled by 40 per cent to around five cents after mining minister Anthony Roberts made the announcement suspending the licence last week.
The Office of Coal Seam Gas has declined to withdraw its suspension following a submission by Metgasco late last week.
Gasfield Free Northern Rivers say it will take some time and money to remove the substantial lock-ons and so-called dragon devices buried beneath the ground at gates A and B of the Bentley site.
Photos Marie Cameron
Protector and CSG lecturer Aidan Ricketts told local media today that Bentley would go down in history along with the Franklin River and Terania Creek environmental protests of the 1970s.
He said that in a way Bentley was more important, in that the Terania and Franklin River protests at the time did not have wide support, whereas the Bentley protest had the support of almost the entire community.
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Metgasco shareholders have voted to accept the NSW Government’s $25 million CSG licence buyback offer which means the northern rivers will remain gasfield free and protected by community.