Michelle Collis

The newly formed Illawarra Aboriginal Solidarity Group will hold a launch on November 21 with the screening of two films at Wollongong TAFE. The Illawarra region has a strong history of activism around the injustices that Indigenous people face, including past campaign work by the South Coast Aboriginal Advancement League and the Illawarra Aboriginal Rights Group. Lyle Davis, a Brierley/Piety/Dharawal man, emphasises that while this is the launch of a new group it is continuing on with work that has taken place for many years.
The NSW Barry O’Farrell government has been criticised for having close links to mining companies after it made two controversial decisions in December last year. The Coalition government announced it would appoint a former mining company executive to the board of the Sydney Catchment Authority (SCA) and confirmed it would axe funding to the Environmental Defenders Office (EDO).
A blockade by activists opposed to the production of coal seam gas (CSG) at Glenugie, near Grafton in northern NSW, has shown determined opposition to drilling in the area since the blockade started eight weeks ago. CSG Free Northern Rivers, a community group based in the Clarence Valley, has campaigned to keep the Northern Rivers region free of coal seam gas through protests and non-violent direct action. The blockade began on November 20. Fifty activists blocked the gates to a farming property that was due to host drilling operations by gas company Metgasco.
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