Two traditional owners lock to machinery at Santos Leewood CSG site in the Pilliga

  • Lock on follows action of 300 people at the Leewood CSG site yesterday

  • Total charged at Santos Pilliga protests in the last 6 weeks is now at 29

  • These protests come days after Santos wrote off the value of the project

Two men are risking arrest as part of a relentless community campaign against Santos’ coal seam gas project in the Pilliga forest in North West NSW. One of the men is a Gamilaraaly traditional owner of the Pilliga and the other man is a traditional owner of Yuin country on the South Coast. At the same time around 20 people have blocked access to the main access road into the site.

The community is calling on the State Government to cancel all CSG exploration licences across the North West region.

Paul Spearim is a 54 year old Gamilaraay man who is currently locked on: “It’s about the protection of my traditional connection to Biliga and the Gamilaraay nation.PP-Paul-Lionel-lockon-22-02-2016

“With Santos coal seam gas its about the destruction of our Gali (water). We have an obligation to protect the waterways and aquifers of the Gamilaraay nation. We have ancient cultural knowledge of the groundwater aquifers, including the Great Artesian Basin and the seven rivers that lie beneth.”

Lyle Davis/Andy (Brierley/Biety) is a 58 year old Yuin man also locked on: “I’m up here, black duck from Moruyo, supporting the emu, Gamilaraay, because we’ve got the same issues and problems in my Yuin country. The elders keep saying ‘leave it in the ground’ and it’s the same issues across the land – the pilliaging and plundering of our natural resources – and we do not see any benefits.”

Paul Spearim ended: “Hopefully more Gamilaraay people, other first nations people and other supporters will join our efforts to protect Gamilaraay sacred lands.”

Yesterday over 300 people defied a police road block to rally at the gates of the Leewood facility and around 80 people breached the fence to occupy the construction site. One man was arrested.

 

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