Wednesday, 18 June 2014

NSW Deputy Premier Stoner calls Bentley protesters "professional bludgers"

I’m sure that members of NSW Northern Coast farming communities and concerned local residents will be impressed by how Deputy Premier Andrew Stoner and presumably most of his National Party MPs are characterizing the region’s commitment to a gasfield-free Northern Rivers.

As for Stoner’s desire to go head-to-head, along with the police riot squad, with the estimated 2,000 protestors who regularly gathered at Metgasco’s Bentley drilling site, all I can say is that I’m sure this attitude is going to lose the Nationals quite a few votes at the 28 March 2015 state election.

Despite his past support for the gas industry, Nationals MP for Page Chris Gulaptis bustled out to inform his state electorate that:

The Land 16 June 2014:

Deputy Premier Andrew Stoner told the NSW National Party annual conference last Friday he spoke with Premier Mike Baird, telling him he was concerned about the "bullying and harassment" protesters engaged in at Bentley.
"We were prepared to go head to head with the protesters to preserve Metgasco's rights," Mr Stoner told the state conference.
He said among the protesters existed a core of "extreme anarchists" who had outstanding warrants against them from other states.
"It breaks my heart that it (the decision to suspend Metgasco's licence) was seen by some as the professional bludgers having a win," Mr Stoner said.
Mr Roberts said previously that Metgasco’s licence was suspended due to concerns that the company had not adequately consulted with the community.
The Office of Coal Seam Gas (OCSG) advised him the community had expressed fundamental concerns about the way in which Metgasco had characterised its activities, Mr Roberts said.
“On 13 May, 2014, the director of OCSG and the NSW Land and Water Commissioner held a meeting with local landholders, at which matters of consultation between the community and Metgasco were raised.”

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