NSW Police should not be used to break community blockade

MEDIA RELEASE – 29 April 2014

The Greens NSW spokesperson on mining Jeremy Buckingham today called on Police Minister Michael Gallacher to resist pressure from coal seam gas company Metgasco to use the NSW Police Force to break a community blockade at Bentley, near Lismore, particularly given the company has close ties to the Coalition government through lobbyists and relatives of MPs. Jan & Jeremy at Bentley

“The NSW Police Force should not be used as private security to allow a coal seam gas company to force its way into a community that has overwhelmingly rejected the presence of gas fields in the Northern Rivers,” said Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham.

“We know pressure is mounting on the government to use the police to break the community blockade, but this pressure should be resisted.  The gas company needs to bring the community onside if it wants to drill, rather than use the NSW Police to force its way in to the drill site.

“While Stuart George, the son of local Lismore MP, Thomas George, is the Community Relations Manager for gas company Metgasco and former Deputy Director of the NSW Liberal Party, Richard Shields was employed as a lobbyist for Metgasco, no special favours should be made because of these links.

“We know Metgasco has close ties to the O’Farrell/Baird governments, and this only reinforces the point that the NSW Police Force should not be used to do a favour for a private company.

“Up to 3,000 local people have converged on the drill site in recent weeks to blockade any attempt to move a drill rig into place.  There is no way the NSW Police should be used to attempt to force heavy machinery through such a large crowd.  The Greens hold serious concerns for public safety if this is attempted.

“The company is attempting to drill one exploration core hole.  It is totally impractical to think that the NSW Police will be used as private security to drill the 500 gas wells that Metgasco has said they want to drill.  Metgasco must earn a social licence with the local community or simply pull up stumps and go home,” he said.

Contact: Max Phillips – 9230 2202 or 0419 444 916

 

10 comments

  • I whole heartedly agree with your post and furthermore I believe both state and federal governments should be focusing on solar energy as means of job creation, greenhouse gas reduction and of course as a means of establishing a profitable sustainable energy industry. Thanks Jeremy

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  • Too right Mr Buckingham and I’ll ditto that as well!

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  • Absolutely right Mr Buckingham. And to add insult to injury, we, the 87% who voted no to this industry that is forcing it’s way on without social license, will have to pay for ourselves to be thrown to the ground and arrested in OUR TAXES??

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  • Thanks Jeremy

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  • I agree that the NSW Police Force should not be used to disperse protesters who are standing up to the unwanted call seam gas mines in their area. The approval processes MUST be overhauled and reflect the science that is readily available. We know for certain that aquifers are destroyed forever by CSG. CSG has NO place in the Australia’s energy mix when we have such ample renewable resources.

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  • I absolutely agree, and have the greatest respect for those standing in the way of this evil attack on the land, when they finally succeed, they will give strength to all those other communities across Australia wanting to also get rid of this terrible CSG invasion.

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  • NSW Police must not be used as private security for Metgasco
    Metgaasco wants to drill 500 gas wells in pristine northern rivers
    Metgasco has close family ties with the O’Farrell/ Baird Governments
    read further

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  • Pierre Wilkinson

    Call for an enquiry into the whole procedure of granting licences to Santos and Metgasco in light of the recent allegations unearthed by ICAC concerning corruption in the NSW Government and tendering processes.

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  • Good On you Jeremy! So glad to have you standing up for common sense and decency and speaking out about the dodgy links between mining lobbyists and our politicians. Thank you.

    Jenny

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  • Good luck Jeremy. The corruption in the NSW Planning Dept. has now ended, but still the police must not serve corporations- this sort of thing is helping turn the State into rule by corporations not democracy. Coal, gas, gold-when will it stop? Growth cannot depend on destruction . The price may be importing fewer Chinese gadgets and consumer rubbish – worth paying.

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