CSG protests take an ugly turn in Gloucester

CSG protests in Gloucester took an ugly turn this week as AGL started fracking at its Waukivory pilot project.

Scuffles broke out between protesters and AGL security guards at the site, with reports an activist tried to hold the head of a security officer under water.

However protesters say they are considering legal action at what they said was heavy-handed reactions by security guards.

The Environmental Defenders Office said it is reviewing video footage of the incident.

On Monday two people were charged after entering AGL’s work site.

While on Tuesday more than 20 people blockaded the site, but were kept off the premises by police.

Activists have set up a camp near the site they say has the capacity to accommodate 200 people.

They want fracking at the site suspended after reports by SMH that the Office of Coal Seam Gas (OCSG) approved the controversial technique before being provided with a full list of the chemicals AGL planned to use.

The paper said while the fracking work was approved on August 6 officials did not receive test results until two months later on October 23.

A spokesman for Resources Minister Anthony Roberts said AGL was compliant with its regulations.

Groundswell Gloucester spokesperson Jennifer O’Neill has labelled the approvals process as “dodgy” and is calling for AGL to stop work on the pilot well.

"It seems that both the Office of Coal Seam Gas and AGL are … adopting a laissez-faire attitude to the health and welfare of the local community."

Protestors claim to have found “huge vats of ydrochloric acid” at AGL’s site.

“We have no idea what they are putting into the ground – AGL haven’t revealed that,” one said.

AGL said it is fully compliant with government regulations.

Image: SMH

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