Australian anti-fracking community leaders tour Sussex and the UK to bring hope and support for action against oil/gas exploration threat
The leaders of the most successful resistance to oil and gas as development in Australia packed out Pulborough Village Hall and a Brighton venue, at the start of a UK tour of their film the Bentley Effect. The documentary shows what a small rural community in the Northern Rivers region of New South Wales were able to do. Their protests led to the Government recalling the license.
Experienced activists and community leaders Ian Gaillard and Simon Clough and filmmaker Brendan Shoebridge paid tribute to their community. They crowdfunded their trip to show their award-winning film that shows how they took on the energy giants and won. Following the successful events in Sussex they encouraged those present to take non-violent direct action too.
Film-maker Brendan Shoebridge said they were keen to start in Sussex as he used to live in the South Downs at Ditchling outside Brighton: “I couldn’t believe it when I heard, after our long fight in Australia that this beautiful part of the world that I know and love, is facing a similar threat. I’ve given up so much to make this film over seven years and believe it can help to inspire others to devote time and energy to stop the threats to their countryside too.”
Campaigner Ian Gaillard added: “We believe we have a critically important message of hope to deliver to threatened communities here in the UK. These communities have been ground down by government support for the frackers, strong arm police tactics and a very negative political environment.”
Several exploratory sites exist in the south of England including Broadford Bridge at Adversane near Billingshurst, Horse Hill in Surrey, Markwell’s Wood and Lidsey near Bognor Regis, placing much of the Weald under threat.
Keep Billingshurst Frack Free said:
“After seeing the Bentley Effect and meeting these Australian heroes we know what we have to do. It will require a lot of work, commitment and noise from masses of people, but we intend to drum up that level of support to stop this dangerous drilling from going ahead.”