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April 24, 2021

Deputy premier threatens Bentley protesters

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Deputy premier, Andrew Stoner.
Threatening: deputy premier, Andrew Stoner.

A brief lifting of the political iron curtain has revealed what NSW deputy premier Andrew Stoner (Nationals) really thinks of those who oppose gas drilling at Bentley.

‘Mark my word we were prepared to go head to head with that protester group,’ was just one of a few comments made to Jenna Cairney, deputy editor of The Land (Fairfax) newspaper, at a recent Nationals convention.

She shared the comments on social media site Twitter, with other comments reading, ‘It broke my heart that some of those professional bludgers thought they had a win.’

stoner-twitter-commentsThe belligerent and pro-gas mining stance comes despite Mr Stoner having not travelled to meet with the farmers who may still be affected by Metgasco’s drilling attempts just outside Lismore. The Echo previously reported some of those farmers were prepared to be arrested and had ‘locked on’ to concrete devices.

And while the comments were condemned by Lock The Gate’s Michael McNamara, Mr Stoner’s office confirmed with The Echo he was quoted correctly. ‘I said words to the effect that it was a large protest which included a core of hardline protesters who had travelled to the area but also some good local people.

‘At no stage did I suggest that all the protesters were professional bludgers.’

The ‘head to head with that protester group’ comment remains without elaboration. Mr Stoner is also on record as saying he would not want a gas operation near his property.

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  1. So is Mr Stoner suggesting there’s something inherently lazy, dishonest or wrong about political advocacy on a professional basis?

  2. Of course the “we” in “….we were prepared to go head to head with that protester group…..” is not literal!!
    “We” actually means “900 or so Police”.

    (BTW the “professional bludger” remark is straight out of the APPEA playbook on these matters)

    Truly our politicians not even close to supporting the people. I look forward to Mr Hogan’s stance on this, trusting that he has the intestinal fortitude to do something for those in his electorate who are up against this blatant threatening / bullying.

  3. Clearly shows who our Politicians are beholden too and it sure as hell isn’t the people that vote for them . Why would any person living in a Rural area vote for the Nationals ? It’s blatantly obvious they don’t represent them or their interests and haven’t done for a very long time . Fact is if the Liberals and Nationals didn’t combine their vote neither would ever win an election . Simple , vote them out .

  4. I was one of those bludgers that protected Bentley. I am a fully employed person that works in a professional capacity. I must say that most of the protestors I met there are also local, hard working people that are really concerned for the potential impact that CSG mining could have on our area.
    Mr Stoner has been reported as stating he would not want a CSG well near his property, so on this we must agree: I do not want this intrusive invasion near my property either.
    It is time for the National party to awaken & fight for our water & arable land before it is too late. Unfortunately the current leaders in the Nats seem wedded to the Mining interests.
    Everyone Please also send a message to our politicians that Metgasgo does not & will not receive a Social License to mine in the pristine Northern Rivers. The State Politicians are currently reviewing the Metgasgo license.

    In the event that Metgasgo tries again, I for one will be there as a land protector, even if I need to take more Long Service leave to attend. Even the risk of death (because the Police union stated that with 10000 protestors there could be 3 deaths due to reaction to the Capsicum spray, or perish the thought, the Tazer: would they use these implements on legal, peaceful protestors?)

    Please listen to the will of the people & withdraw these invasive CSG exploration licenses.

    regards Doug

  5. Please restore my faith in the Australian people !……can somebody prove how these clowns fixed the elections ?
    I can’t find anybody who voted for them ( …or at least will admit to voting for them ) I suppose some rusted on, old, feeble minded ill-educated country folk, may have thought they would be different this time. However it it now ludicrously obvious that this government is totally incompetent and corrupt and as Tony says “OPEN FOR BUSINESS ” ,
    Anybody want to buy a poly?

    • I am passionately against CSG mining and agree that Stoner’s comments are despicable etc etc, but Coalition fixed elections?…. and why make totally demeaning remarks about the elderly?

      • OK Marie,
        I apologise for the use of ‘old’, it was meant more in the sense of ‘old hat’
        As no spring-chicken myself, as my suffering from the camping forays to Bentley confirmed.
        However, as the results in the West Australian elections so definitely illuminated, the AEC is not the capable, officious and dependable institution that we would hope for and I ,for one, have no faith in the process involved in our governance, nor the credibility of the protagonists (State or Federal ) as recent ICAC investigation has illuminated the depths to which they are prepared to descend.

  6. Oh so many beautiful comments! Especially from Doug, go you good thing!!

    To recap…
    Nationals (lap dogs) are pathetic, couldn’t win an election without their masters, the Libs. Nationals have forgotten, no forsaken the very people they used to consider their primary vote… THE PEOPLE ON THE LAND!!!

    It broke his heart… NO, he doesn’t have one! I think most pollies have to have their hearts cut out as a pre-requisite before entering politics.

    Faith in the Aussie people, oh better leave that alone, just say one thing though, must be a lot of gullable aussies out there, (i.e. who pay any attention to the Murdoch press…)

    Open for business alright, though I wouldn’t buy a pollie with your money! What are they good for? Feeding time at the croc farm?

    If, hang on, when the smelly stuff hits the fan, I’ll be going to Bentley, we NEED a bit of healthy revolution in this forsaken land, BRING IT ON STONE BRAIN!

    Better get back to running my business so I can save up enough money to become a professional bludger of Bentley! That’s almost alliteration!! I’m a poet, wouldn’t ya know it?

    People power!

  7. This National Party puts the interest of mining companies over the people who voted for them or whom they allegedly represent. Local farmers and people. Right to say the pristine northern rivers will be decimated by this.
    I have been fully employed for the past 40 years. I am 60 years old, have run my own business for the last 25 years employing 3-12 people at any one time and am offended by Mr Stoner’s comments, “going head to head with that protester group”.
    I have not been to Bentley -YET – but if the Government reinstates this CSG licence my head will be there with many other people for whom it will be a first.
    With 7000 people walking against CSG in this area in Lismore some year or so ago and another 5000 in Murwillimbah some time later the Government may need to rethink the depth of emotion, the conviction and the belief of intelligent professional people and people from all walks of life that this industry is so wrong on so many levels.
    They will need to rethink how many people are prepared, like me, for the first time, to take a stand at Bentley.

  8. Mr. Stoner is now the MP for the north coast and he hasn’t come up to engage us, only calling us names from his office. Why has the Nationals had so much of a stranglehold on the region when they only represent multinational corporations or special interest groups? What about giving the majority a go for once?

  9. I am also one of those bludgers Andrew A retired Public Servant who has worked in the Health Care sector all my life. Yes I will be waiting for you with the other Professional ‘Bludgers’, Farmers, Knitting Nanas, National Party voters (that’s right) Conservationists, Workers, Retirees, Young and Old who care for our country and the environment and are prepared to make a stand. That is of course if you ever have the courage to face us. Your comments are an insult.

  10. The body language and facial expression says it all Mr. Stoner. You are an arrogant, closed minded political bludger who does not work for his constituents. I also am a Bentley protestor, working in a professional capacity, paying my taxes, demanding the right to be heard in this supposed democracy, you insult my intelligence with your belligerence and complete lack of concern for this beautiful Northern Rivers area and it’s caring people. This is my home. Why don’t we gas mine in your back yard then?

  11. Sorry Mr Stoner, I thought when you said “professional bludgers” you were referring to your buddies in the LNP. Sitting on your backsides all day, never in touch with the real world, just selling of plot after plot after plot of our country to the mining industry. I hope your kids are proud when they see what you are doing – very little for the people who voted you in.

  12. Dear Mr. Stoner,
    I know you won’t probably even read all theses comments. I was hoping you would represent the 87% of the people in this area, who with their clear majority are indicating what is needed. There are always right and wrong industries on the market and you, as a representative, need to go back to school and learn what is right and wrong for the environment. Without the healthy environment we are dead and that includes you and your children and grandchildren. Politics and common sense need to be one and the same. I am not one of those ‘Professional bludgers” as you name-call some of your citizens. I thought our schools teach that name calling is not acceptable. However our politicians seem to be exempt or did you learn that at home? You are supposed to have full respect for all kinds of people and their predicaments in life. I am glad that some unemployed people are able to be at the blockades full time as my working life does not give me the freedom to do so. And I am happily paying tax to support this kind of action. I am a bit older than you Mr. Stoner and I have been around and experienced life a bit longer… and there are some situations where now I wished I had listened more and left my young ego behind at an earlier stage. The current fracking situations are life threatening to all humans not only the ones near the mines.
    the Earth belongs to people, not to corporations .. and that maybe to philosophical a statement for you.

  13. I work full-time and pay far too much tax, if I could’ve been at Bentley full-time I would have done so, I’m thrilled my taxes could be paying professional protectors as equally paying for those who volunteer for St. Vincent De Paul, Lifeline or whatever, they are all the REAL public servants unlike an arrogant overpaid supposed North Coast Minister who has contempt for the residents of the North Coast who have democratically voted against this evil industry.
    Comments coming from a Minister in one of the most corrupt govt’s I’ve ever seen in 50 years are pathetic.
    As a result of his insult towards our community as being BLUDGERS, I will be lending a hand to any organised activities to get rid of him and his stinking rotten corrupt government!!! They all make me sick!!


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