Lismore

It is rare to see such a powerful film as Brendan Shoebridge’s The Bentley Effect, which focuses on the successful struggle by Northern Rivers communities to save their land and water from the coal seam gas juggernaut at Bentley, near Lismore, NSW.

The power of community is often talked about, but this film shows how it actually happened, in a powerful tale of political awakening among several generations.

Police have cautioned the Knitting Nannas Against Gas that their actions could be illegal and warned them to stop protesting.

For three years the group has met weekly outside the offices of MPs in NSW to protest against coal seam gas development in the state. The nannas say their knitting is a form of non-violent political activism to remind politicians they are being watched.

About 8000 people from across NSW’s Northern Rivers region gathered in Lismore on November 1 for a rally to declare the region gasfield free.

Protesters marched through Lismore CBD to demand the government cancel all petroleum licences in the region.

It then officially launched four large signs at each of the roads leading into the region, proclaiming: "Gasfield Free Northern Rivers – protected by community.”

Organiser Elly Bird said: "This community is saying loud and clear that they want full cancellation of the licenses across the region, and nothing less will serve.

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