Sunday, 6 April 2014


Looking down on the camp from the track from the drillsite.  Much of the camp is not visible in this photo.

Five Nannas from the Grafton Loop and one Nanna supporter travelled north to Metgasco's Bentley drill site on Friday April 4.

As well as giving us an opportunity to survey the latest area under threat from Metgasco's drilling plans, it gave us a chance to meet again with our northern Nanna compatriots and with others we'd met during the Glenugie and Doubtful Creek campaigns.

We were very impressed with the organisation of the camp which has been laid out like a small town with streets in a grid pattern . The camp, which a few days earlier had housed around 2000 people, is downhill from the drillsite and on an adjacent property. Shelters are mainly tents - and a few teepees -  but there are also campervans and a few caravans.

A gate-keeper directs day visitors to parking below the camping area.

The Lismore Nannas' shelter

The Grafton Nannas joined the Lismore Nannas  at their shelter, a structure reminiscent of igloo-type hangars in shape, consisting of parallel semi-circular metal supports covered with tarps.  It was a comfortable, well-equipped headquarters and even boasted a small "dormitory" in the rear.

Message wall near the gate of the protest camp

Bentley is currently in Thomas George's Lismore electorate.  However, there has been an electoral redistribution.  At the next State Election (in March 2015), Bentley will be in the Clarence electorate.

So Mr Gulaptis, our local member, will have a further experience of gas drilling in his electorate. (Not to say that he had any direct experience by visiting Glenugie when it was operational!  He only heard about it second or third hand - despite many invitations to visit and see for himself.)  We wonder if he might go and check this one out.  But ... we Nannas aren't really hopeful about this happening!

Some of the Grafton Nannas took photos.  I took many photos, some of which I intended to use on this blog but - alas - as a result of a really irritating Nanna moment, I deleted them all!  I only hope that this Nanna has  learnt her lesson and will be MUCH more careful in future. The photos I do have for this post are courtesy of Sarah Fletcher.  Thanks very much, Sarah.

Tripod near the entrance to the drill site