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Byron Shire
September 30, 2022

North coasters among 10 arrested at Pilliga CSG site

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Several north coast locals are among ten arrested at the Santos Pilliga CSG treatment plant so far.

Yesterday morning, Tabulam local Gabrielle Laver, was one of two arrested at a peaceful protest against the controversial Santos Leewood CSG facility in the Pilliga.

Ms Laver, 44, was arrested and charged with disobeying a directive and obstruction for delaying a convoy of trucks entering the site.

Police dragged Ms Laver from the road to allow the convoy to proceed.

The other person, Jason Jol, 48, from the Central Coast, was arrested and charged with trespassing on the inside of the facility where he ventured to halt to work on site.

Protesters are vowing to escalate their campaign at the Leewood facility to draw attention to the broader plan for the 850 well Narrabri Gas Project.

The Leewood facility is designed to treat up to one million litres of toxic CSG wastewater every day from exploratory works in the Pilliga.

This morning (Friday) women with life threatening illness locks to truck at the facility.

At 8am a 48 year old mother of four from Elands on the mid-north coast locked on to a truck with a metal pipe outside the controversial CSG waste water plant.

Amanda Musico is taking this action today as part of fulfilling her ‘bucket list’ after she was diagnosed with life threatening advanced melanoma early last year.

‘After my diagnosis I was determined I’d be here to celebrate the eighteenth birthday of my youngest child, and I’m grateful that I was able to do that.’ Ms Musico said.

‘I’ve since been on a wonderful holiday for myself and my partner involving the Indian Pacific Rail and a beautiful cruise.

‘Now that I’ve done what I’ve felt necessary for my family and myself I’m grateful that following my treatment I’m well enough to take action to help our country and our planet.

‘Coal seam gas in the Pilliga threatens our national treasure the Great Artesian Basin, it threatens our future water and food security and the health and welfare for future generations.

‘I can see the unacceptable threat that Santos’ Narrabri Gas Project in the Pilliga poses to our water, land and our collective future and I’ve taken the chance while I’m still feeling fit and well to do my part to stop this coal seam gas malignancy spreading into NSW,’ she said.

Yesterday, protester Mr Jol said Santos’ plans for 850 wells in the Pilliga ‘not only threatens the recharge function of the Great Artesian Basin but is also the tip of the iceberg regarding the longer term plans to industrialise North West NSW with coal seam gas’.

‘People from right across NSW and beyond are now flocking to the Pilliga region to support the Gamilaraay and other local’s efforts to protect their land, water and communities from coal seam gas,’ he said.

‘This is an issue of national significance.’

The protests follow months of protest activity that has disrupted work on the Leewood site since construction of phase 2 of the facility commenced in early December.

Since that time 13 people have risked arrest through locking themselves to gates, vehicles or machinery, and a total of 10 arrested and charged.

The Leewood facility is the subject of a pending court case that will question the legality of its approval.


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