Farmer 'locked' to gate in Pilliga protest

A LOCAL farmer who locked himself to a gate this morning in a bid to disrupt Santos' coal seam gas operations in the Pilliga forest has been arrested.

Mark Robinson, 52, used a D-lock around his neck to secure himself to the gate to prevent a drill rig gaining access to the site.

Police were called to the scene and freed Mr Robinson, before taking him to Narrabri Police Station for processing.

The Coonamble farmer, whose wife Cherie was arrested and charged last week after blockading an access road, said NSW's north-west was no place for an "invasive gasfield".

While the project is still in the exploration phase, Santos has plans to drill 850 coal seam gas wells in the Pilliga forest.

"As a farmer it shocks me that despite knowing the risks to water, our government seems to be blindly rushing ahead to support Santos' plans to turn the north-west food bowl into a massive industrial gasfield," he said.

"Food producers are going to keep on standing up and clearly telling Santos to back off. We are not your next gasfield."

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