A number of individuals with a direct interest in or employed in senior positions by Metgasgo Limited have an employment history with mining companies which in one instance reportedly dealt directly with at least one repressive military junta involved in human rights abuses in South-East Asia (Myanmar) and in another instance was thought to have made payments to one violent corrupt dictatorship in Africa (Chad).
One of these companies was also responsible for a catastrophic est. 11 million gallon crude oil spill covering 1,300 miles of Alaskan coastline in 1989.
Yet another of these former employers was recently found to have made a misleading coal seam gas advertisement in Australia.
Given this type of business culture background, it is not hard to imagine the assertion contained in the letter below is within the realms of possibility.
Letter to the Editor published in The Daily Examiner 3 January 2013:
CSG white ants
Protestors who continue their vigil at the Glenugie coal seam gas site have learned to be vigilant in the face of subversive activities designed to undermine their efforts. Early in the piece one particularly loud and aggressive protester, who nobody knew, was suspected of being a plant, determined to provide unsavoury material for the media, and Metgasco, to focus on.
When that person was discreetly questioned, he must have realised his cover was blown, and has not been seen since.
However, the white-anting by people with their own agendas continues, and the letter from Bruce Tom (DE Dec 31) is a typical example. Taking advantage of the offer of a free cup of tea at the very well-managed kitchen on the roadside, he criticises the fact that the tea was brewed on a gas cooker.
Apparently ignorant of the difference between coal seam gas and the liquid petroleum gas being used to make the tea, Bruce accuses his hosts of being hypocritical. Imagine the scorn he would have heaped upon them had they been using an open wood fire (the only alternative) on a high-fire-danger day.
However, Bruce’s red-necked personality really comes to the fore when he makes the derogatory observation about "a Greenie with a chainsaw" operating "with no safety gear to be seen". Perhaps Bruce can explain exactly what it was, in his eyes, that defined the chainsaw artist as a "Greenie". Was it only because he was prepared to take action in support of local landowners whose lives and livelihoods are under threat from gas mining?
It so happens that I was there on the same day and photographed the artist at work. Reviewing those photographs I note that he was wearing work boots and ear muffs. The purist could no doubt complain that he was not wearing chaps or a visor, but to claim there was no safety gear in sight is a deliberate manipulation of the truth.
I am told the artist is a local resident, and an experienced wood carver, and to me he looked and dressed like a farmer or even a timber worker. What people like Bruce need to understand is that opposition to coal seam gas is not restricted to environmentalists, but includes anyone with a modicum of intelligence, allowing them to understand the dangers it poses.
Opponents come from all walks of life, and the support the protest has received from local landowners and businesses, and visitors to the area from all over Australia, has been truly amazing and clearly reflects the mood of the broader community.
I’d like to say well done to everyone involved in the non-violent direct action at Glenugie, particularly those who gave up their Christmas-new year break to continue the vigil. Whether they've stayed for weeks on end, or just come for a friendly chat or to deliver supplies, they are all heroes.