Riders muster for gas protest
A HERD of horses, their owners, and supporters on bicycles and on foot made their way along the road at Bentley on Saturday in an effort to keep the region gasfield-free.
The Ride for a Gasfield Free Northern Rivers took place near the Bentley protesters' campsite in the morning sunshine on what was, according to many of the participants, a perfect day for riding.
One of the event organisers, Talitha Mitchell, said the ride sent a strong message to Metgasco.
"The thought came out because horses are a powerful image of Australia and what we are, we're landholders, farmers, I'm a horse breeder," Ms Mitchell said.
"This whole movement is all about everyone coming together and this is such a wonderful way to unite.
"It's a really powerful image."
Ms Mitchell said that the police had called her earlier in the day before asking if they could persuade her to cancel the event due to safety concerns but the organisers decided to continue with the ride.
During the event two police patrols stood guard to make sure everything ran smoothly and that no people, vehicles travelling along Kyogle Rd, or horses were placed in danger.
In the end, between 20-30 protestors on horseback, joined by others on bicycles and on foot, made their way from down Naughton's Gap Rd to the camp at Bentley before heading back.
Some riders were going to keep on riding to Casino while displaying their messages against CSG.
Young Kienan Wilkinson, 13, of Bentley, along with his mother and brother, was riding his horse Avatar in the protest.
He said he was riding to protect his home.
"I want to stay here, I don't want to leave so I'm trying to protect it the best I can," he said.
"I don't want a thousand wells."
Ms Mitchell said they still did not know when Metgasco planned to move their rig to the site at Bentley, but that she thought it must be soon and the protesters were all prepared for that fight.