Groundwater, which is fresh water stored underneath the earths surface makes up 98% of the earth’s fresh water source and like farming land in the Northern Rivers, provides industry, ecosystems, plant, animal and human life with the necessary fresh water to sustain life.
Throughout Australia, coal seam gas exploration has and continues to threaten groundwater through the drilling of a vast network of wells, pipes, damns and treatment plants in the vicinity of groundwater reservoirs that communities rely on. Currently the Pilliga Forest blockade near Narrabri is protesting against CSG exploration that could impact 22% of Australia’s total groundwater supply, the Great Artesian Basin.
Thankfully in the Northern Rivers, the Bentley Blockade that took place in late 2014 held a peaceful resistance to Metgasco’s CSG exploration on our local land and stands as a prime example of community resilience in the face of corporate greed and environmental destruction.
This powerful action has rightly started a social movement and a local film producer Brendan Shoebridge captured it all on film. Currently in production, ‘The Bentley Effect’ is a film for the world to see. It is about people and communities standing up and winning the fight for the protection of our land and our water.
A week of fundraising actions for Groundwater Awareness Week 2016 has been initiated by Santos Organics. Further to this 10% of all sales at the Santos Organics Warehouse from Monday 14th through to Friday 18th March will be donated to ‘The Bentley Effect.’ To close of the week we invite you to join Brendan and Lock the Gate Alliance on Friday 18th March, 2pm-5pm at Santos Organics, 3/7 Brigantine St, Byron Industrial Estate. This will be a celebration and community update of the film and CSG exploration in Australia. You’ll enjoy music by Manoa and cheap chai and tasty snacks will be available all afternoon.
Photos – Kirra Pendergast