Katter’s Qld leader joins CSG protest
The Queensland leader of Katter’s Australian Party, Aidan McLindon, has joined an anti-coal seam gas blockade south of Brisbane.
Local landowners and anti-CSG campaigners from Queensland and NSW set up the protest site on a farm at Kerry, near Beaudesert, early on Thursday, preventing Arrow Energy from doing exploratory CSG drilling.
Twelve people have been arrested at the site and charged with contravening a police direction. They will all face Beaudesert Magistrates Court next month.
Mr McLindon, a former LNP member and sitting Beaudesert MP, said he had joined the blockade because he shared the residents’ concerns about the mining practice.
“The coal seam gas threat has well and truly reached the heart of the Scenic Rim as the foreign-owned company, Arrow Energy, rolls out its exploration permits,” Mr McLindon said on Friday.
“I am proud to stand by the local community that I was elected to represent in their fight against this flawed industry.”
“(Premier) Anna Bligh and (Opposition Leader) Campbell Newman have both turned a blind eye to this industry which is devastating prime rural land in a region which provides tourism and agriculture.”
Earlier on Friday, NSW schoolteacher Daniel Robins scaled a seven-metre drill rig, and refused to come down until he had spoken to an Arrow Executive. Mr Robins said the protesters wanted baseline water tests to be conducted on local aquifers before drilling was allowed to begin.
“We need to know what is in there now, because after drilling, once it’s contaminated we have to know who is responsible,” he said.