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Activists plan for CSG battle

GETTING READY: Anti-CSG activists prepare the protest site at Bentley.
GETTING READY: Anti-CSG activists prepare the protest site at Bentley. Patrick Gorbunovs

ANTI-CSG activists were preparing for their next battle against the controversial process at Bentley on Saturday.

The 30-strong group spent the day clearing roadsides and working out logistics near the Rosella-1 well site ahead of mining company Metgasco's expected to return in March.

Local land holder Ted Hoddinott was involved in the working bee and said the group was preparing the site for the army of activists who have said they will arrive the moment Metgasco returns.

"We're out here brush cutting so people don't need to be near the road and working out the areas where the toilets and the canteen will go because when Metgasco comes to the site we want to be ready," Mr Hoddinott said.

Landholder Desley Banks said it was important that Metgasco sees the local community is against CSG.

"We don't want our lands industrialised (by mining)," Ms Banks said.

Ms Banks said while Metgasco have said they would return to Bentley in March, she believes they may arrive as soon as January or February which is why the group was so keen to prepare the protest site on Saturday.

Northern Rivers Guardians president Scott Sledge said the Bentley site was important to the entire region and the group was "throwing their weight behind it".

"Gas companies come and go but we are the ones who are going to be here once the gas runs out," Mr Sledge said.

Long-time environmental activist Nan Nicholson, who helped save Terania Creek some 35 years ago, said she had never seen the community band together in the way they have to stop CSG on the Northern Rivers.

"Today, we're just letting them (Metgasco) know we're ready," Ms Nicholson said.

Metgasco announced in October 2013 they intend to drill the Rosella-1 well in the Bentley area to a depth of 2100m, for "non-CSG, conventional gas".

Many activists however argue the gas, in what is known as the Great MacKellar structure, is located in "tight sands" and would still have detrimental impacts on water quality and require more than one well for a commercial flow of gas.

Topics:  bentley coal seam gas csg metgasco