Arrests begin at Tara gas pipeline blockade

Up to 70 protesters have gathered at Tara to physically blockade the Queensland Gas Company workers moving in to build a gas pipeline. Some have climbed trees near a key access road, holding banners that say: "Don't gas Tara".

Others, including farmers, landowners and green groups, have rallied outside the company's Tara office.

Today a 70 year old great-grandmother became the first person to be arrested at the QGC protest and blockade near Tara. June Norman was arrested when she refused an order from a plainclothes policeman to move on while she was blocking a large bulldozer from entering the QGC site.

Mrs Norman was quoted in the Courier Mail

Mrs Norman said she had lived a quiet and peaceful life but knew when issues were important enough to join the fight.

“I have an obligation to my children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren to take a stand,” Mrs Norman said during the protest yesterday.

“I cannot have them living with the consequences of what our generations have done and are doing to this country.”

Spokesperson for the national Lock the Gate Alliance John Thomson was quoted in the Courier Mail
“Tara is the frontline of our campaign,” Mr Thomson said. “It is imperative that we protect the water, land and natural environment of our country and the health and future of the people of Australia.”

The Lock The Gate Alliance calls for more regulations in Australian coal and gas mining industries.

Footage of Mrs Norman's arrest on Youtube



Despite QGC’s claims that we are a LOUD MISINFORMED MINORITY group, it would seem they must be just a little bit concerned as they have stepped up their police presence outside their Kenya gas field offices since yesterday.

This morning we decided to take a small representative crew over to the Kenya gas field, to try to speak to Bruce Coates-QGC’s representative who told the media that landholders had been consulted and has no problem having his kids live near a gas well(hmmm, i wonder how true that is, every QGC employee we have spoke to says they wont have a gas well on their property)

Apparently he was unavailable and we had to speak to social performance manager Tony Heidrich.

We agreed to do that, although after a while it became apparent that QGC were just stringing us along, and had no intention of making anyone available for us to speak to.

So we gave them an ultimatum, they have Tony Heindrich down here within 30 minutes to address residents concerns, or we block the gates.

30 minutes later we had no choice but to blockade. It was obvious QGC had no interest in listening to resident’s concerns.

We blockaded gates 1, 2 and 3 and after we blocked the 3rd gate, the police moved in, no longer happy with just having them take photos of our number plates, QGC called them in to remove the residents from the gates to allow their machinery in.

One landholder June Norman, a 70 year old great grandmother,(who we think is just wonderful) felt so determined QGC would not get into the estates that she actually stood in front of a truck loaded with a bulldozer, and refused to obey police instruction to move out of the way, that they arrested her.

It appears that QGC would prefer NOT to speak to residents over their concerns and would prefer to have an elderly great grandmother arrested instead.

A couple of residents returning to BASECAMP came across a busload of QGC representatives and media journalists.

The QGC representative Bruce Coates was on that bus, so our residents requested he get off the bus to speak to him. There was really no surprise when Mr Coates REFUSED to leave the bus to speak to our residents.

QGC claims they have consulted the community. The only community consultation happening is with the Community Consultative Committee, which is made up of TARA TOWN people who at the moment are NOT impacted by gas development!

So although we have had one arrest today, an act which, if their comments were anything to go by, gave QGC employees and contractors WDS employees a laugh, we consider this a win even though another of our residents was hit by a QGC employees/contractors vehicle. It just shows that even under attack, residents know how to behave in an appropriate non-violent manner.

Despite the huge police presence it would appear that they are there only to keep protestors under control and QGC employees and their contractors are able to do what they like at will.

Lets just see what’s in store for tomorrow, perhaps a larger police presence yet again?

QGC must be really concerned just how large our LOUD MISINFORMED MINORITY GROUP really is!

Today we have changed tactics, we have avoided Kenya, thought we might give QGC and the police something to worry about,which obviously worked because we now have the police tactical response unit set up on Wieambilla Road and a very strong police presence throughout the estate.(we would hate to think they were trying to intimidate us)

We have had a successful day gathering information and planning many different stradegies.

We are putting the call out for donations, money, food etc as we have so many supporters we have to feed, and pay for the hire of the toilets and showers etc.

Anything you can spare would be appreciated.

Why are these idiots proud of the fact that all of these Police Resources have to be deployed?
And the old woman is not a land holder from the area, she is from Brisbane, bused in because why? Are there no local people involved?

We hired a helicopter to do an arial reconnaissance in our area. The destuction and what is planned for the residential estates is an abomination and totally immoral.

It would seem the construction of the pipeline isn’t going quite as QGC planned.

There is a spider trencher(one of only two in Australia) sitting idle on QGC land.

QGC has accused residents of throwing rocks and sabotaging machinery by removing wheel nuts from a grader.

I know we have SUPER GRANNY but we do draw the line at sabotage.

The residents involved in the Western Downs Alliance blockade are all in agreement of a NON VIOLENT PROTEST and find it totally unneccessary to resort to sabotage to get at QGC. QGC’s own employees/contractors are giving us enough ammunition to use against them. The public doesnt like multinational companies who use violence(two of our protestors had painful interactions with QGC employees/contractors vehicles) to intimidate protestors or who arrest 70 year old great grandmothers!

Perhaps QGC and the police should keep an open mind and instead of blaming all of QGC’s woes on The Western Downs Alliance protestors,they should investigate properly before making unsubstantiated claims.

At the moment we are playing the waiting game until QGC get closer to moving onto the estates, and are gaining more and more support as we wait it out. Our people are ready to go at a moments notice, so we are keeping an eye out and the minute there is activity, we’ll be ready!

Thanks to all the media, people are beginning to realise the seriousness of our fight.

This is the test case!

If they are successful in turning residential estates into a gasfield, it will set a presedence for all other residential areas, and prime agricultural farmland.

If you wish to join us please contact us before arriving so more details can be given.

Flower power go get a Job instead of living off tax payers you dole bludger

Yeah i bet he gets Family Tax Benefits the bastard!