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MR: People power victory at Bentley Blockade

The Northern Rivers community is today celebrating a great victory of people power following the suspension of invasive gas drilling on farmland at Bentley near Lismore.

Minister for Energy and Resources, Anthony Roberts today announced the suspension of Metgasco’s Petroleum Exploration Licence on the grounds of inadequate community consultation.

“At the Bentley Blockade we have seen an entire region stand together to protect the environment and community of the Northern Rivers from the threat of invasive gas drilling,” said Gasfield Free Northern Rivers spokesperson, Adam Guise.

“We would like to thank Minister Roberts for finally taking action to address the concerns of the Northern Rivers community.”

“We would also like to acknowledge and thank the NSW Police for their respectful and considered consultation with the community over the course of this blockade.”

“There is a huge sense of relief amongst the community that we will not have to face the prospect of a large contingent of police being used to break the peaceful action in coming days.”

“The maintenance of this blockade has been a huge effort and commitment from all those involved and shows the determination of this community to remain gasfield free.”

“We sincerely hope that today’s announcement will be followed up by real action that recognises that the communities of the Northern Rivers are overwhelmingly opposed to gasfield industrialisation of our region.”

“We will continue to work together to keep our region gasfield free and will be continuing our call for all exploration licences across the region to be revoked,” he said.

“The Bentley Blockade has been an historic outbreak of democracy in which an entire region has stood up against the combined forces of the State government and the mining industry,” continued Gasfield Free Northern Rivers spokesperson, Aidan Ricketts.

“The State government needs to address the fact that our democracy is in crisis. The mining industry has corrupted our political system and the community has lost faith in our parliaments and politicians,” he said.

“This victory at Bentley puts the issue of community democracy front and centre. It represents a significant victory of people power over vested interests.”

“The Bentley Blockade offers inspiration to communities throughout Australia faced with invasive gas mining and uncontrolled coal mine expansion that there is still a chance to reclaim our democracy. The battle is far from won with more than half of the Australian land mass covered by coal and gas mining licences and applications.”

“The result in Bentley will be a beacon of inspiration across the nation.”

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