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Byron Shire
May 15, 2021

CSG protest covers 2,500 kilometres of highway

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Just one of the many protest sites set up along the Pacific Highway yesterday in opposition to coal seam gas mining in New South Wales  and Queensland. (Supplied)
Just one of the many protest sites set up along the Pacific Highway yesterday in opposition to coal seam gas mining in New South Wales and Queensland. (Supplied)

Anti coal seam gas protesters from the northern rivers region joined hundreds of others yesterday in Australia’s ‘longest ever protest’.

Knitting Nannas played a major part in the protest, wearing their distinctive yellow attire and waving placards against gas mining.

Local organiser Anne Thomspon said rest stops along 2500 kilometres of highway across New South Wales and Queensland were covered by the protest.

Locally, Nannas and their supporters set up outside the Macadamia Castle at Knockrow, as well as other points along the Bruxner Higway in Goonellabah and just outside Lismore on the road to Casino.

Ms Thompson said the protest action had been a huge success.

‘It was amazing … talk about from little things big things grow,’ she said.

‘Two weeks prior to yesterday that I suggested we do something on Pacific Highway in support of the planned protest on the Newell Highway and it ended up that we covered most of the Pacific Highway.

Ms Thompson said the point of the protest was to keep the pressure on the newly elected state government to cancel all unconventional gas mining licences across the state.

‘They (mining companies) have no social licence in New South Wales,’ she said.

Meanwhile, anti-gas activists are now waiting for a decision from the NSW Supreme Court regarding the suspension of Metgasco’s drilling approval for its exploration site at Bentley, just outside Lismore.

Metgasco challenged the state government’s decision to suspend its drilling licence and the court’s decision is expected this Friday.

Ms Thompson said the decision would be ground-breaking whichever way the court decided.

She said a win for Metgasco would spur more people to join the fight against coal seam gas while a loss would mark a great victory in the campaign to rid the state of unconventional gas mining.

‘So many more people are coming on board now,’ she said.

‘I was the coordinator of Sunday’s protest but people kept turning up to spots along the highway everywhere,’ she said.

‘The Nationals say they are going to buy back one of the local CSG licences, but it is a promise made just seven days before the election and a complete turnaround.

‘We are not a hundred per cent confident that they will buy it back before June 30 – their cut off date.’

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  1. The national’s offer may be a turn-around designed for the election but…not only is this a cynical move to assure government compensation to members of the George family but also a ploy to extract a totally needless payment to license holders. In order to stop this disgusting totally destructive process that could just as effectively be accomplished by the cancellation of the exploration license, at no cost to the public purse.

  2. Unfortunately I was unaware of the 2500 km protest otherwise I would NOT have removed the sign that was placed outside on our nature strip. Had I known the sign would be there for only one day I would have proudly sported it. I believe there needs to be more communication with regards to the placement of placards prior to the event that is going to take place. Had someone dropped information off in my mailbox informing me that the sign would only be there for one day or even one week, I would not have removed it, but since I had no idea where it came from, I acted in haste :(. I was concerned that it would be there indefinitely and we have to mow grass there. Better communication… Better support. Thank you and sorry.

  3. From my point of view if a protestor uses, during the course of their daily life, any petroleum products then they are hypocritical. Those petroleum products that you use had to be taken from the ground in someone’s “back yard” so why is should your back yard be exempt? Roads are coated with bitumen which is made partly from oil, synthetic materials and polyesters are made partly from oil, obviously petrol to drive motor vehicles is made from oil. How can you possibly justify not exploiting petrochemicals when you yourselves use them daily? Really ….it’s quite bizarre!!!!! In to the bargain, the rules and regulations in NSW to protect the environment are some of the toughest in the world. Please folks……take a good look at yourselves.

    • Sober up David !
      The rules to protect the environment in NSW are non-existent or totally ineffective, we share the honour of having the greatest rate of species extinction in the world. This is before the ever worsening effects of global warming take hold.
      Sure, you’re quite right in your assertion that the use of petrochemicals is ubiquitous and must stop ! This obviously includes CSG so….LOCK THE GATE.

    • G’day David,
      “””How can you possibly justify not exploiting petrochemicals when you yourselves use them daily?”””

      Protesting about the use of fossil fuels could possibly be regarded as hypocritical if there were no alternatives.
      However there are; they are renewable forms of energy. Unlike fossil fuels they won’t run out.
      The fossil fuels are imbedded in our culture we are totally reliant on them as you have mentioned.
      Which brings us to the protester, an intelligent educated concerned citizen who can see that in the not too distant future the fossil fuels will be all used up.
      We need a replacement for the fossil fuels and something that doesn’t pollute and won’t run out is the obvious best choice.
      The idea of protesting is to advertise to enlighten the population to show governments the error of their ways.

      I am taking a very ‘good look at myself’ as do all protesters but more importantly a very in-depth good look at and into the future. A future without pollution with responsible Governments that have a vision for better cleaner healthier environment for our people our families our communities.

      (“” Those petroleum products that you use had to be taken from the ground in someone’s “back yard” so why is should your back yard be exempt?”)

      This happens because people like yourself don’t know any better than to just do as they are told regardless of the long term consequences. People like the protesters are more intelligent than that and can see the damage being done and can see that there are alternative ways that will be better for the population in the long term.

      It’s a bit like the tobacco debate forty years ago. Some of us knew it was dangerous and called for it to be banned.
      But many with a mindset like yours said everything is fine leave it as it is. Forty years later the debate is over and it is banned in most public places. All because of the work of protesters who could see the end results of a poison.

  4. Louise Macaulay if you are referring to the sign opposite the St Helena lookout, it was purposely placed on the road reserve, not on private property, in the hope that this would not happen. I must admit the sign writing was a bit average (“Can’t eat coal, can’t drink gas”), but it was the message that mattered. Good of you to make the comment. You are forgiven.

  5. Louise Macaulay it’s so nice to know that you would have left the sign had you known it was just for the day. Thankyou for saying that. It was actually only from 10am – 2pm, but I know of one young chap who had to go to work and left his sign till his return, only to find it gone. As you will have read, this Pacific Highway Action was organised at very short notice and it just evolved from day to day as more people heard about it on social media and wanted to be part of it, so there really was no time for leaflet distribution etc. There is talk of it becoming an annual event, so imagine how big it will be with plenty of time for promotion. You will certainly hear about the next one!
    As for the pathetic argument about driving our cars on bitumen roads – what can one say – except bring on renewables!!

  6. Bad things happen when good people stand by and do nothing! We are not professional protestors; we are mothers, grandmothers, doctors, nurses, layers, artists, shopkeepers and lots of us are also farmers! We all want farmlands not gaslands.


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