Bentley Blockade: Updates
Saturday 17th May:
The Northern Rivers community is this week celebrating a great victory of people power following the suspension of invasive gas drilling on farmland at Bentley near Lismore. To read more about this historic achievement scroll down to the news links below…. Whilst the suspension of drilling at Bentley is a very welcome development our region is still not safe from the threat of invasive gasfields. Licenses and applications still cover almost the entire region. To be successful we need to keep on building and strengthening our efforts and to do this we need even more people to get involved.
SMH: Bentley protesters celebrate as gas drilling suspended The Australian: Farmers and greenies keep CSG drillers at bay Northern Star: Bentley Protest Celebration Nambucca Guardian: Metgasco misled public about drilling intent ABC North Coast: Bentley Blockade protesters celebrate decision to suspend Metgasco gas exploration licence Echonet Daily: Government suspends Bentley gas permit SMH Op Ed: Northern Rivers alliance locks the gate on Metgasco SMH Comment: Lessons from success of Bentley’s anti-gas protest
Prime Sydney: Corruption suspected over coal seam gas ABC Stateline: CSG backdown at Bentley heralded as victory for people
2GB Sydney: The Bentley mine blockade
General Information about how you can get involved with the Bentley Blockade & site directions are here
For the Latest News and Action Alerts check out our Facebook Page
To find out what is needed at camp & where to take contributions of food & materials call info. tent 0457 629 652
To find out what’s happening at the Blockade this week, view our Calendar.
Friday 9th May
Frocks on the frontline day! A blockade tradition. A day of fun and getting together with friends, new and old. The ladies looked wonderful in their colourful frocks while the men looked.. the men looked nice too!
Tuesday 6th May – Thursday 8th May
A fews days of recharging batteries, workshops and peaceful preparation for the expected police onslaught next week.
Monday 5th May
It looks very much like #BentleyBlockade turns blue on Monday 19th May with police arriving in large numbers. Join the camp from Friday the 16th for a weekend of workshops and preparation. Roads will most likely be blocked at some point on Monday 19th or even earlier so don’t leave your arrival too late! Keep your eye out on our Facebook Page for details of workshops and events at the blockade.
Saturday 3rd May
Today in the morning we had a whole lot of local farmers and Nannas locking on to the equipment at gate A! At lunchtime we has a pop up concert by OKA! Then in the afternoon we had a huge convoy of Kombi vans cruise past the camp! Exciting day!
Friday 2nd May
A quiet day, no problems, but lot’s of work done to maintain and build the camp as usual though!
Wednesday 30th, Thursday 1st May
Wednesday saw beautiful people spending time together reflecting on how strong this community has become. The mood around gate A is one of quiet confidence. There is an energy of strength about the place. While the protectors wait for metgasco to make a move, their commitment becomes stronger by the day. Thursday was another day of calm reflection, protectors learning about each other, maintaining the camp and welcoming the many daily visitors to camp. Today the Richmond Valley Mayor announced the protectors can stay. Thursday night saw a fantastic movie at the Chai tent at gate A. It’s an honor and a pleasure to be among such dedicated, caring people.
Tuesday 29th, Tueday 29th April
A couple of quiet days where the protectors took the opportunity to organise and build camp infrastructure. The tireless workers are working non stop to provide a family friendly and safe environment for you to visit and support the efforts to bring awareness to the toxic gas industry’s plans of drilling a gas well just a few kilometres from Lismore.
Monday 28th April
Today we had a special visit and pop up concert by Xavier Rudd! Awesome music enjopyed by hundreds of protectors! When Xavier arrived he wandered around Gate A meeting protectors, sharing a laugh and a hug or two then went into the Chai tent and gave us over an hour of his beautiful music. What a Day!
Sunday 27th April
An update on the RVC closing our camp, they are not, they’ve allowed us to put in a revised DA which is currently being prepared by a town planner. We are very confident it will be approved. So don’t be concerned about coming out and camping, it’s all clear!
When you come to camp, drive in carefully past our friendly traffic controllers, take a right at the coffee shop, which by the way make a mean cappucino, then continue on to the car park which is around 100 meters down that road near the sportsfield which may have a game or soccer or vollyball happening.
Take a stroll up to the welcome tent near the front gate to get information on the camp and to sign in.
After that feel free to have a tour around the camp, visit the tarp mahal at the main camp fire and sacred fire, then maybe you’d like to take a leisurely stroll up the road to Gate A or B to meet the simmos, have a cuppa with them, join in the yoga or meditation class or just chat about what we’re all here to do which is to protect our beautiful Northern Rivers from invasive gas mining.
And just between me and you, tomorrow night we will have a suprise visit and popup concert by none other than Xavier Rudd! Shhhh! See you there!
Saturday 26th April
Today two bentleys and a hot rod visited Bentley where leading members of the community had high tea. Not an extremist in sight, unless you count local men and women fighting for their right to retain their health, their land, their way of life. Gate C is full of wonderful protectors who will be there when we need them. Gate A is full of life and great spirits. Gate B is alive as always with good humour and wonderful people sharing something special that will stay with them for the rest of their lives – an afinity with their home, sharing the strength of their community together.
Friday 25th April
Today a moving service at Gate A for ANZAC day drew a strong crowd of protectors. We had a relaxing day with family and friends reflecting on why we are here. We know that watching over us is the spirit of ANZAC, mates looking after mates. Lest We Forget.
Video by Jenny Leunig
Thursday 24rd April
The Mayor of Casino went on the radio this morning saying our DA for the camp at Bentley will expire on Friday and won’t be renewed. Because we had music.. This is a serious breach of process by this council and legal eagles are on the job. Now is the time to come out Camp Liberty and protect the protectors. We are not moving. Will you show up?
We were visited by Tony Barry who talked in the Tent Mahal and gave us some uplifting and inspiring thoughts. Also visiting was The Hon Justine Elliot MP who dropped in, toured the camp, visit gates A and B. See you there soon!
Wednesday 23rd April
Today the blockade had some special visitors. Barry Longland the Mayor of the Tweed and President of NOROC and Danille Mulholland, Kyogle Mayor and Vice President of NOROC. Both of these Mayors came to offer the support for the blockade and both climbed the large tripod at gate A and did a stint as protectors! NBN News, the Northern Star and the ABC where all in attendance and many interviews were done in person and by phone. Our thanks to these two very brave people!
Monday 21th April to Tuesday 22nd April
A couple of days of great energy, wonderful protectors and chilled out music at Gate A and B. The protectors at Gate A, B and C are vigilant and ready for action. Our protectors are heros proecting our land, our water, our future!
Sunday 20th April
What a day! the Bentley Blockade been graced with some of the biggest rythym and blues superstars in Australia! We had John Butler, Mama Kin, Blue King Brown, Nicki Bomba, The Hussy Hicks plus others performing at gate A! We are seeing history being made right here, right now. The Bentley Blockade is a once in a lifetime event, you must get down to Bentley now and experience community strength and empowerment in action! What will you tell your grandkids when they ask: What did you do when they tried to turn the Northern Rivers into a toxic industrial zone? I ROCKED AT BENTLEY!
Wednesday 16th – Saturday 19th April
A quiet few days for the protectors to recharge their batteries and get ready for any action that may come in the near future. With plenty of visitors dropping in and donations of food and money streaming in we’re ready for whatever the state Government has in store for us!
Tuesay 15th April: Ongoing Alert
Another inspiring day where protectors from right across the Northern Rivers came together to maintain and build camp Liberty. We grow stronger by the day with a steady stream of new visitors and new campers. The local businesses of Casino, Lismore,Nimbin, Kyogle and many others have kept up a supply of as much food as our protectors can eat! Drop in for a visit, have a cuppa, meet some new friends and be a part of history. Newpaper and TV media continue to visit, taking our message to the world that we will have a Gas Field Free Northern Rivers!
Monday 14th April: Ongoing Alert
The biggest numbers yet to greet the dawn at the Bentley Blockade! Over 2,000 estimated to have showed up this morning to state their strong opposition to Metgasco’s plans to turn the Northern Rivers into gasfields. Today the attendees vowed to write to the Premier asking him to listen to the will of the people and declare the Northern Rivers Gasfield Free! Please take the time to write & post a letter today:
The Hon Barry O’Farrell, MP, Premier, Minister for Western Sydney
GPO Box 5341
SYDNEY NSW 2001
Saturday 12th April: Ongoing Alert
What an exciting day! First of all we had the awe inspiring sight of seeing a large number of horse men and women riding down the Bentley road against invasive gasfields! Joining them were the cyclists against gas!
Later on We were treated to an appearance of Pete Murray, Ash Grunwald, Andrew Stockdale Wolfmother and more. Get down to Bentley now, history is happening and you need to be a part of that!
Thursday – Friday 10th, 11th April: Ongoing Alert
The week ended with happy protectors looking forwards to a fun filled weekend with a horse ride against gas and the promise of some special visitors on Saturday. We have many visitors drop by continually to say hello and offer support. We’re looking for people to help at the info tent, if you like meeting new people and have a good knowledge of the issues surrounding invasive gasfields, please drop by and sign up for a meet and greet shift.
Wednesday 9th April: Ongoing Alert
Regular meetings in the morning and evening have seen a strong sense of community building over this week. New friendships have been forged, old ones strengthened as the protectors work towards making the Bentley camp one of strength and resilience. We have built a coffee shop complete with tables chairs and magazines, a great place to chill out in-between working shifts. If you have the time drop by the info tent and ask how you can help out!
Tuesday 8th April: Ongoing Alert
The vigil at all gates continues with our hard woking protecters standing ready and waiting for any movement by Metgasco. The camp continues to have infrastructure built to provide a safe a secure environment for as long as it takes.
Monday 7th April: Ongoing Alert
This morning at dawn a large crowd of around a thousand people gathered at the drilling gate. All gates have lots of protectors and people patiently waiting for Metgasco! Parkway Drive visited this morning and donated a personal signed guitar to our Indigenous Elder Jarmbe! Today Rainbow Power Company have donated a 110 12v fridge and lighting system, plus solar kits for all gates. Next saturday there will be a horse ride in the Bentley area by locals riding against gas fields!
Sunday 6th April: Ongoing Alert
Another great day at the Bentley Blockade! Franklin horses have settled in down the road. We have hot coffee in da house! Drop in for a cuppa! Camp needs support EVERY DAY, be there 5am for the ‘Greet The Dawn at Bentley Blockade': http://bentleyblockade.org/ Camp phone 0477263137. Peaceful action always.
Saturday 5th April: Ongoing Alert
THANK YOU for your commitment so far. Camp needs support EVERY DAY, be there 5am for the ‘Greet The Dawn at Bentley Blockade': http://bentleyblockade.org/ Camp phone 0477263137. Peaceful action always.
Thursday & Friday 3rd and 4th April: Ongoing Alert
Ongoing vigil. People on the ground are always needed. Please schedule some time to visit camp in the coming days. Please, respect Non-Violent Direct Action (NVDA) principles at all times. On Friday we were visited by Mayor Jenny Dowel and Reverend Nightingale!
Wednesday 2nd April: Ongoing Alert
Morning: Police assembling at Naughtons Gap Road, near Bentley, and some movement in Lismore, but no confirmation of their intentions, they could be just training. Just in case additional people on the ground is always needed.
Tuesday 1st April: Ongoing Alert
Work may commence at any day, any time, so be Alert and Prepared. Visit the camp site when you can, but remember to respect Non-Violent Direct Action (NVDA) principles at all times.
Monday 31st March:
6:30 am: Update from Bentley. Another victory. It appears the police have decided not to come today possibly due to large numbers estimated to be 2000. Please be prepared for tomorrow, we need to keep numbers up. It is an amazing and powerful experience to be there together.
5:30 am: There were about 1500 protectors at the Bentley Camp. There has been a constant stream of torches up the hill for over two hours. Apparently the police aren’t coming because of the numbers and the weather. Community are still staying on guard.
5 am: There was a steady stream of new arrivals to the protector’s camp this morning. Looks like many farmers showing early. This is an epic community event!
Work likely in coming days: * RED ALERT: Strong police presence expected early today. Be onsite before 5am. If roads are blocked, setup protest at road block or walk in. Remember nonviolence & stay calm at all times.
30th March – Sun: People arriving all day in the 100’s. Great community support.
National Party member for Page Kevin Hogan, wife Karen (right) visited the Bentley Protest Camp. Desley invited the Hogan’s for a walk-through and yarn on Gasfields.
22nd- 28th March: Work likely in the coming week :
On Mon, 24 March, the week began with the appearance of several new installations at the Bentley drill site main gate, including a very tall tripod, upon which sat an “angel”, calling for the protection of our land and water from unconventional gas mining, and accompanied by a large early turnout of protectors. A significant presence by protectors was maintained for the rest of the week.
It is likely that work will begin to prepare the drill site in the coming week, most likely on Mon 31 March. If you can join the gathering at camp to oppose Metgasco’s plans to turn our region into gasfields, then please make an effort to get there before 5am on Monday! Sleeping over Sun night at the Bungabee Rd camp means you will already be there early on Mon morning. Both are effective ways for you to contribute! Be ready for the Red Alert calling you to the blockade.
It’s not too late to go on the alert txt list – txt your mob number to 0447 399 535 (just text & cite your mob number). Alternatively, to get email alerts, send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org Remember, if you attend the action please follow the guidelines for non-violent direct action and maintain a peaceful presence at all times. Please be aware that on previous occasions at Glenugie and Doubtful Creek police have closed the road when facilitating the movement of machinery onto drill sites. If you encounter a road block please stay safe and again, maintain a peaceful presence at all times. If you cannot make it to site you can still make a statement of opposition wherever you are.
25th March: Council work Important: Richmond Valley Council is currenly working at the site to remove the dangerous cliff face that is on the opposite side of the road to the drill site. It is unrelated to Metgascos work. We believe this work is needed to ensure the safety of the protectors. We reported the safety issue to the police who have encouraged the council to do the work. Council will be removing the temporary fencing once the cliff face work is done. 17th-21st March: People needed- site work imminent The week began with over 100+ protectors turning up at 5.30am, with only a few hours notice, to be briefed on Metgasco’s likely attempts to begin road & drill pad preparations for Rosella E01. The strength and numbers attending the vigil continued to grow. To help out with the drill site vigil call Nan on 0428886335 and she will arrange a 3-hour shift for you. There is now a well established council approved protectors camp on private land adjacent to the drill site at Bentley complete with info. tent, shade structures and porta loos. Bentley landholders also have come featured in the media recently to express their determined opposition to drilling activities. Metgasco has also had a campsite approved for housing drilling company workers this week- albeit a somewhat different type of camp! The RVC granted approval for their traffic control plan during road works to the entrance of the drill site, and for a donga style workers camp on the property holding the drill site, which is to include a gym kitchen, cold room, bar, toilets & showers and diesel generators! Work on drill site preparation is expected to start any day now and numbers are needed at camp. Please schedule some time for a visit as soon as possible. For latest updates check our Facebook page.
8th February: Site watch activated Volunteers are signing up to be present should any work vehicles arrive at the site It has been running successfully for 2 weeks. If you have time call Nan on 0428886335 and she will arrange a shift for you. There is most need for early morning shifts to be filled. The sunrises have been beautiful there. People welcomed to camp on site but have to be self-sufficient as camp infrastructure is yet to be put in place. Metgasco visits Two weeks Metgasco visited site with Mine Site Development Consultant from QLD to look at the feasibility of getting the rig in and work that needs to be done. They were blocked at the gate by protectors. Fencers One week ago Metgasgo arrived with local fencing contractor to look at constructing fence around drill site. They were blocked at the gate by protectors, but able to walk in. Richmond Council. Last week Richmond Council visit site to discuss stairs that were dug out of hillside between the two main gates. They undid the work and barricaded the area off leaving a very narrow and dangerous path. No one knows when they will be back to build as appropriate stairs 80 protectors Turned up The next day – Saturday, 80 protectors (blockaders) arrived 5am in the morning in case they try again but they didn’t return.
Crowd Funding Please Help Fund the Protest again Metgasco’s Gas Drilling in the Northern Rivers Visit our crowdfunding project: Stop Bentley Gas Exploration Now! Metgasco, a Sydney based gas exploration and production company, has returned to the Northern Rivers and now plans are underway to drill a 2 kilometre deep well in a tight sands gas deposit just 14 kilometres upstream from Lismore. Funds are needed to cover costs for campaign strategies such as media and rallies, protest camp and legal fees. This is a crowdfunding project sponsored by Gasfield Free Northern Rivers. 100% of funds raised will go towards the campaign and all donations are tax deductible.