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Published: August 12th 2014
Morningbird and Littleflower, are still home and have not ventured north on our autumn winter sojourn, because there is trouble brewing in the shire, For the past few months there has been a massive anti Coal Seam Gas blockade happening in our own very neck of the woods at Bentley, 20ks, west of Lismore, New South Wales. It was Just amazing to see the kaleidoscope of the community getting involved to stop the gas rig from coming down from Qld, and fracking into the bedrock to get to the coal seam gas underneath. This unconventional process is very controversial in that it has the massive potential to poison the groundwater with both fracking chemicals and escaping gas into the underground aquifers. There have been several instances where farmers in C.S.G areas have been able to set fire to their bores and dams, with the gas escaping into the underground water tables. Metgasco a C.S.G Exploration company have been dabbling into other areas of the Northern Rivers, but the community have drawn the BIG line in the sand and have said NO!!!!!!! to this one and any other one in our shire.
With the Freedom Machine set up for roadside vigils,
we volunteered our services to be 'Cockatoos' at Cedar Point, a strategic intersection of Casino. Kyogle and Lismore. Our mission is to be on the lookout for the reported 800 Sydney based riot squad police, who are to be assigned to break up this peaceful/non violent protest. As well as the dreaded Metgasco drilling rigs or any other suspicious activity, heading towards the blockade site. Our 3 day shift was to alert Camp Liberty H.Q, so that the protectors could lock on to the tripods, twin mast poles, "sleeping dragons" (submerged concrete pipes) or any other immovable object to thwart their efforts and stand strong as "Protectors" of the environment. Fortunately for the cause, a sympathetic cattle farmer whose land adjoins the drill site, generously offered his 100 acre cow paddock to the protectors. Arise Camp Liberty, an instant village, accommodating the 1,000 campers committed to the cause. The colorful paddock village of Camp Liberty is fully equipped, with info tent, restaurants, coffee shops, workshops, meeting circle around the 24 hour fire place, indigenous elders tent, first aid tent and dozens of portaloos. The surreal image of Camp Liberty, with tents, teepees, R.V's of all descriptions, and an amazing assortment
of primitive colourful structures, housing the populace feels and looks like a Woodstock festival site. At any time at the issue of a S.M.S red alert, the village would instantly swell to 3,000 concerned members of the community, ready and willing to take the fight right up to Metgasco.
How well the village of Camp Liberty functioned with people power is true testament to what we the people can achieve, by standing together strong and united to protect our precious environs from the ravages of standover merchants from "Bigtown". These ivory tower tycoons who don't appear to give a 'rats' to the concerns of the locals, bring in their "mickey mouse" public consultation charade, to con us into their devious plan. They seem to prey on the vulnerabilities of struggling farmers who are hanging on by their finger tips, by offering them 30 pieces of silver for access to their land. With their big foot in the door and their grubby little hands on the gas, before too long, we will be like the Surat Basin in Central Queensland, where the C.S.G industry has decimated the environment and landscape with their ugly pipelines and wells. This ugly web of
monstrosity criss crosses the farmland of the Surat basin, potentially poisoning soil and water. Well stand up and take a bow, good citizens of Camp Liberty, celebrate your victory, one proportionate to that of a "Mordordian" overthrow by the little people of the Northern Rivers shire of New South Wales.
The victory bell was rung when Metgasco's P.E.L (Petroleum Exploration Licence), was suspended by the NSW Energy Minister, mainly on the grounds that inadequate public consultation had occurred with the people and stake holders of the region. Instant party erupted at Camp Liberty, when the news broke through with much speech, dance and song, hail the sweet smell of people power!!
Morningbird and Littleflower were sitting back in our R.V at Camp Libertry watching the news on our 12 volt inhouse digital T.V, when we heard some passing voices exclaim "They have got a T.V in their R.V", we flung open the welcome mat, and had an instant audience of many who revelled in seeing our victory making major news on big city T.V.
The extremities at the end of our legs are getting quite itchy, and I sense it won't be long before we pack the
Freedom Machine and head north for what is left of our winter break. Until then, cheerio and Toodlepip from Morningbird and Littleflower.
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