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Metgasco Sinks and Brad Hazzard Re-enacts the Magna Carta at Lismore 5th December

Metgasco Sinks and Brad Hazzard Re-enacts the Magna Carta at Lismore 5th December

A huge crowd turned up at the city hall in Lismore this morning (Wednesday 5th December)  to meet Planning Minister Brad Hazzard and a team of 'department heads.

There were too many people to fit in the building, around 1000 were crammed inside even behind the ministerial table up on the stage. Maybe half that again had to wait in the foyer outside.

It all started as one would expect, chanting of slogans as the minister arrived, posters, angry people, hundreds of lock the gate signs and gasfield free road delaration signs.

 Minister Loses Control of the Meeting

 Mr Hazzard's party had no doubt intended a typical talking tour where they would control the microphones  and the questions. However things didn't work out that way, in part due to Thomas George, who opened the meeting in the usual formal way and gave an acknowlegement of traditional custodians. The audience took offence at this hubris, since the local traditional owners see  CSG mining as destroying their heritage. 
Thomas George then  started goading the audience,  accusing them of not being interested about aboriginal heritage of our area. This resulted in loud protestations. Unfortunately for Mr George and Mr Hazzard there were three local elders present who  demanded to speak. Initially their request was refused, but the audience started chanting "let him speak, let him speak" in unison for several minutes till Brad Hazzard handed the microphone over. One of the elder's was Kevin Boota.
Kevin said  "Under the UN resolution, we have a right to determine our own destiny… and we’re asking you as a  government to live up to your standards and requirements by the UN in regards to us as a people.  We’re all concerned for Mother Earth, that’s all we’re here for.”  “If you’re talking about democracy, that you are forcing this issue on the Northern Rivers is a joke. We call for you to revoke all CSG unconventional gas in the Northern Rivers.”
Then Each in turn  they continued their strident  rebuke of coal seam gas mining on our sacred land. From then on the scripted speeches by the minister and his cronies were in tatters.

Ian Gaillard from Northern Rivers Lock the gate followed, saying, “We are not going to let this happen for the benefit of some JP Morgan and sons shareholders, Petro China… or any other energy that wants to come in here and get short-term profits on the backs of our environment.”  You need to understand that environment comes before economy..

Magna Carta Revisited

Soon after  the minister was asked to accept dozens of gasfireld free road declarations from representatives of gasfield free roads. "I felt like I was watching a moment in history like the magna carta when king John was forced to accept the magna carta in 1215 England." said Robert Hart from mullumbimby. This was a significant act which has enourmous consequences. I could see the powerul symbolism of the people demanding that a minister of the crown accept their scrolls stating their roads are proclaimed gasfield free.
There were so many really intelligent well researched questions asked by the audience from farmers and many highly qualified people. Most of these questions were side stepped, dismissed, or in some cases the panel actuallly admitting they didn't know what the answers were.
Thomas George and Minister respond



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