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Brad Hazzard faces Angry Audience at Lismore Wed 5th Dec

Brad Hazzard faces Angry Audience at Lismore Wed 5th Dec
Farmers talking outside the Lismore City Hall demonstration on wednesday

Over one thousand people turned up at the city hall in Lismore on Wednesday 5th December to meet Planning Minister Brad Hazzard and a team of 'department heads'.

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

The meeting started around 10am as one would expect, chanting of slogans as the minister arrived, posters, angry people, hundreds of lock the gate signs and gasfield free road declaration signs.

Audience Takes Control of Meeting from Ministerial Party

 Mr Hazzard's party had no doubt intended a typical talking tour where they would tightly control the meeting and run it as an information session controlling who had access to the  the microphones  and control of questions and answers. 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. read more here

Byron Mayor Simon Richardson responds

Robert Hart, our local Greens member, always seems to capture the essence, the spirit and the power of local events and gatherings. With his trusty small camera, what he shows is huge. For he has captured the spirit that shone at the Lismore Civic Hall. A spirit of passionate rejection of dinosaur energy development, a spirit of community unity and celebration, and a spirit of intelligent reasoning-all surrounded by a rambunctious, agitating irreverence to inflexible authority, in the true spirit of our regions activist history. Though not a meeting with bucket loads of respectful debate, it nonetheless, illustrated quite clearly to Thomas George and Brad Hazzard that their blind obedience to bad science and for short term profit will be resisted.

Greens Mining Spokesperson Jeremy Buckingham responds

Greens MP and mining spokesperson Jeremy Buckingham said, "It is time the NSW Government stopped talking at people in the Northern Rivers and started listening. They don't want coal seam gas and the Government and the companies involved should respect that and withdraw the licences.
"I congratulate the community on keeping up their fight to protect their land, water and communities from coal seam gas. From what I saw they acted respectfully but they are not prepared to tolerate a Government that is ignoring them. I can understand their frustration.
"I am moving a Responsible Mining Bill next year in Parliament that will give communities the right to veto coal seam gas and other mining projects in their area.

PS: Jeremy Buckingham will be at Mullumbimby Civic Hall on Friday 14th December to show his Frack Finding Tour of the USA

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