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They came to a-dress Thomas

FROCKS AGAINST FRACKING: Women from the Northern Rivers gathered outside the office of Member for Lismore Thomas George to oppose coal seam gas drilling.
FROCKS AGAINST FRACKING: Women from the Northern Rivers gathered outside the office of Member for Lismore Thomas George to oppose coal seam gas drilling. Cathy Adams

IT was frocks, umbrellas, heels and some gumboots as the Frocks on the Frontline group protested against coal seam gas in the wet outside Lismore MP Thomas George's office yesterday.

The group of Northern Rivers women banded together and frocked up, despite the wind and rain, in an attempt to get their message across.

Techa Beaumont, of Mullumbimby, said they were there to ask Mr George to personally deliver their statement against CSG to the NSW Premier, Barry O'Farrell.

"We don't feel like the statement made on Tuesday really met the needs of North Coast residents," she said, referring to the changes signed off on in a NSW Government cabinet meeting which will impose stricter rules into CSG drilling near urban areas.

So why the dresses and heels?

"We say frock, not frack," Ms Beaumont said.

Fellow frocker, Valerie Thompson of Dorroughby said the group of frocked up ladies were there representing a diversity within the community - women from all walks of life concerned about the impacts of CSG in the region.

While the group of 30 or so women had planned to come dressed to the nines, they did have to improvise a little because of the not-so-perfect protesting weather.

There was a wide array of gumboots plus thick coats hoisted over fashionable evening gowns and many parasols or umbrellas to protect the fine wares.

However, the rain couldn't dampen their spirit, as they took their 'look' in their stride.

"Frocks and gumboots have long been a favoured fashion combination for the North Coast woman," laughed Ms Thompson.

Wade Maltani of Clunes was on the sidelines supporting the women, and while he wasn't frocked up himself, he said he'd just returned from a nine-day stint at the Doubtful Creek protest site.

He gave credit to the women for their efforts despite the rain.

"I think it's one more demonstration of the people wanting proper representation," he said.


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