News

Lock the Gate Tweed on hand as police break up CSG blockade

The scene at the coal-seam gas blockade in Glenugi.
The scene at the coal-seam gas blockade in Glenugi. Contributed: Andrya Hart

TWEED residents were caught up in a police action at the coal-seam gas blockade in Glenugie on Monday.

Lock the Gate Tweed's Michael McNamara travelled to the blockade of a CSG drill site on Sunday afternoon after he received rumours that police were preparing to take action against the protestors in the seven-week blockade.

The rumour proved accurate as police converged on the site at 5am Monday to move on about 150-200 protestors and during the police action 18 people were arrested.

"The decision by police was unnecessary and provocative," Mr McNamara said.

"Most of the police behaved in a professional manner but some acted in an enthusiastic manner.

"This is a strong message for the Tweed that the government is reluctant to listen to the voice of the community."

It's understood none of the people arrested were from Tweed.

Mr McNamara said the diversity of the protestors showed that the community was concerned about CSG.

NSW Police said in a statement that it would maintain a presence at the site south of Grafton.

A small number of people remain at the location today.

Coffs/Clarence Local Area Commander, Superintendent Mark Holahan, said today's protest was peaceful.

"Today we've seen people exercising their right to protest in a lawful manner," Supt Holahan said.

"Yesterday the majority of protesters co-operated with police and complied with their directions.

"Unfortunately we're alleging 18 people took things too far.

"I understand this can be a very emotive issue, but people still need to act within the confines of the law."

On Monday, police said protestors put the safety of themselves, police officers and gas-company employees at risk.

My Daily News is seeking comment from the NSW government on the blockade and police action.

Topics:  csg, lock the gate tweed



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