Dayne Pratzky first toured the northern rivers with a film in 2010. That film was Gasland – and it effectively woke up our region to the threat of CSG.
The self-described ‘blockie from Tara’ and ‘world’s most unlikely activist’ is back, this time with a film about his own struggles against CSG miners in Queensland.
Frackman, the remarkable tale of what Dayne has been up to in the intervening years, has sold out at almost every showing, including four in the northern rivers – with two more now scheduled.
And while many such outings – like last night’s screening and Q&A at Pighouse Flicks – provide great emotional reinforcement for the converted, Dayne says there are plenty of CSG sceptics who come along only to leave the cinema completely won over.
The movie, which remarkably obtained funding from the Queensland and federal film funding bodies, shows Dayne’s mounting concern for friends’ families living in the Tara gasfield and his increasingly desperate actions to halt the advance of the companies.
In one startling scene, Dayne breaks into a Haliburton compound to strap a tracking device onto a vehicle. In others, he risks his own health to obtain air and water samples from CSG wells.
But the film also traces his emotional highs and lows and his emerging online romance with Wendy, a fellow CSG activist from Pittsburgh, USA.
For those who don’t have the opportunity to get out to see the film, it is briefly available (for the next three days only) for download at the Frackman website.
Put Nats last
Following the film Dayne told the audience about his simple voting strategy, to ensure that our region – and ideally the whole state – remains CSG free.
‘We have to number every box [when voting for the lower house] and we have to put the Nationals last,’ he said.
‘What you cannot do is write “no CSG” or deface that card in any way because it will get screwed up and put in the bin. So you must number every box and you must put Nationals last.’
Asked if he thought Labor would do a better job on CSG, Dayne said, ‘they’re going to put a moratorium on’, which he added ‘will help us in the short term…but we really need to hold them to account.’
‘They’re going to save the northern rivers, I have no doubt, but will they save Gloucester, Camden and the Pillaga? I don’t think they will.’
But he added, ‘getting something is better than getting nothing – unless we’re really smart and vote in a mix of independents, Greens and Labor.’
‘But what we do know, is the Nationals are pro-gas, so they’ve got to go. And that sends a really clear message to the next guys,’ Dayne said.
‘This is one of the most pivotal elections NSW has seen in many, many years.’
The campaign running alongside the film screenings is also showing people how to change electricity suppliers and how to move banks and superannuation companies to those that don’t support the industry.
‘If 75,000 customers were to leave AGL or Origin [formerly Country Energy] they’d be flat on their backs.
‘And it’s our money, the banks are using to fund this business,’ Dayne said. ‘If we can show them we’re not prepared to have them do that, if enough of us move banks, they will eventually have to listen.’
For more information visit the Frackman website.
On Saturday (March 14) there will be a Welcome the Dawn ceremony on Byron Bay Main Beach featuring the Angel of Bentley followed by a 10-hour music marathon fundraiser for CSG struggles around the state at Red Devil Park.