Bentley battle won but it's "just the beginning" in CSG war
THE anti-CSG movement gathered at the Bentley protest camp yesterday to celebrate with visiting Greens senators Scott Ludlam from WA and Larissa Waters from Queensland.
Today was supposed to bring a dawn of reckoning, with the threat of riot police and heavy handed politics.
Instead, a galvanised electorate stood united in its defence of land, water and lifestyle.
Yesterday's celebration - at times tinged with a sombre realisation of what lies ahead - was a chance for numerous supporters to unite and express joy that true democracy is far from dead.
"There is a huge buzz here," said WA senator Scott Ludlam. "People are in a mood to celebrate and we are amazed by how well organised the protest is.
This fight is far from over. The CSG industry wants to sink tens of thousands of wells, not hundreds. This is just the beginning
- Greens Senator Scott Ludlam
"But there have been people in meetings all day talking about where to go from here. After all, the exploration licence has been suspended, not extinguished."
Mr Ludlam said there remained anti-CSG confrontations all across the country and at Bentley there was deliberation on how to take that sense of community here to communities elsewhere.
"People want to know how best to take that sense of community and that sense of defiance and take it to those places that need help," he said.
"This fight is far from over. The CSG industry wants to sink tens of thousands of wells, not hundreds.
"This is just the beginning."
Queensland Senator Larissa Waters agreed on that point, saying the inspiration that is now flowing from Bentley's victory will help galvanise protest movements in wherever the threat of a CSG industry lies.
"It is so wonderful to be part of a victory for a change," she said.
"At Tara the anti-CSG sentiment is still very strong, but the people there are standing against yet more onslaught.
"The joy you get from a win is immeasurable.
"Now it is important to keep this momentum up and turn this suspension into a cancellation.
"There is a real need for people to keep standing together and shut down this last-century industry.
"This is only one step along the way in what will be a very long and important fight."