Wednesday, 16 December 2015


The Grafton Loop of the Knitting Nannas Against Gas has welcomed the Metgasco shareholders’ decision to accept the NSW Government’s $25 million offer to buy back the remaining Petroleum Exploration Licences (PELs) in the Northern Rivers region – PELs 13, 16 and 426.
The successful campaign to make the Northern Rivers gasfield free has been due to the determination of thousands of local community members over more than five years. 
“Determination was necessary because it took an immense effort to convince our local politicians and the Government that this invasive industry was not wanted here. But the message finally got through,” said Grafton Nanna Lynette Eggins.  
“This is a win for people power - not politicians. The Grafton Nannas are delighted that they can now cast off PEL 426, the PEL which covers a large part of the Clarence LGA.”
The Grafton Nannas, formed in October 2012 during the Glenugie campaign, will be putting away their knitting needles and crochet hooks for a rest – after their celebration.
“The Nannas will still be around and will be watching.  Any move to re-issue Petroleum Exploration Licences in our region will be met with Nanna action.  And we will be looking at ways of helping other communities affected by inappropriate mining development,” Ms Eggins concluded.

Friday, 13 November 2015


During their Knit-in on Tuesday 10th November the Grafton Nannas delivered a letter to their local State MP, Chris Gulaptis, Member for Clarence. The text of this letter is printed below:

* * * * *
The members of the Grafton Loop of the Knitting Nannas Against Gas are delighted that the NSW Government, of which you are a member, has negotiated a buyback with Metgasco (of PELs 13, 16 and 426) which, if agreed to by the shareholders, will see them out of the Northern Rivers.

We applaud you for your efforts in helping to bring this about.

Obviously we hope that the Metgasco shareholders will accept the deal the Government has negotiated with its board.

If they do not, we assume that the Government has a contingency plan which will see the licences cancelled so that Metgasco leaves the Northern Rivers permanently.

The Nannas, however, still have concerns about the gas-mining industry.  Removing Metgasco  does not guarantee that the Northern Rivers will be gasfield free.  We, along with many other community members, want the threat of unconventional gas exploration and mining removed permanently from our area.

We urge you to work towards ensuring that the Government declares that the Northern Rivers is permanently off-limits to unconventional gas-mining so that no further Petroleum Exploration Licences are granted here.

Has the Government currently any plans to declare the Northern Rivers Gasfield free?

* * * * *

The Nannas are hopeful that the Government will realize that removing Metgasco, while certainly very welcome, is only part of the "job" and that they will complete the job in the very near future.  Then the Nannas should be able to pursue some more nannerly interests!!

Wednesday, 7 October 2015


The QLD Sadies get RADICAL in support of Karens everywhere. The QLD Sadies song premiered 7 Oct is a direct response to the recent booklet the government has put together for teachers to identify so called potential radical extremists…

Click on the link to see the RADICAL Music Video

The booklet designed to HELP teachers identify students at risk of radicalisation and terrorism has offended both teachers and environmentalists. 

‘The Radicalisation Awareness Kit’ for teachers was launched by Justice Minister Michael Keenan on Monday September 21. The Booklet contains pretty unrealistic “case studies”

The “Preventing Violent Extremism and Radicalisation in Australia” booklet is part of the Living Safe Together program, and while it begins by talking up diversity and social cohesion, it takes a strange turn when it comes to the case studies. 

Below is the Case Study: Karen

So, what do you think????

Saturday, 8 August 2015


The Grafton Nannas have written to  Member for Clarence Chris Gulaptis seeking information on the State Government's plans in relation to PEL (Petroleum Exploration Licence) 426.  This PEL, which covers a large part of the Clarence electorate, still appears to be in the hands of Metgasco.   Metgasco is the company which was involved in exploration for coal seam gas at Glenugie near Grafton and Doubtful Creek near Kyogle.  It was also the company which was forced by the State Government to put on hold its plans to drill at Bentley near Casino last year.

PEL 426
The Nannas letter referred to a recent visit by two of its members to discuss matters relating to the Government's proposed buy-back of some petroleum exploration licences around the state. It referred also to the fact that PEL 426 expired at the beginning of 2014.

The letter to Mr Gulaptis continued:

Despite commitments from local members, including yourself, to work towards removing the gas-mining threat from our region, the Nannas note that Metgasco still has expectations about its future in the Northern Rivers, including the Clarence.

According to an ASIC Report Extract:
"Metgasco continues to wait for renewal of PEL 426, something that was expected in February 2014.  Metgasco has accepted all conditions and paid its renewal fee.  Metgasco notes that OCSG (the Office of Coal Seam Gas ) demands annual reporting and the payment of annual fees, despite not being able to confirm the renewal for 18 months.  Metgasco re-submitted its renewal application in July 2015 in the Government's new format requirement."

While this stated expectation may be a tactic to "up the ante" for compensation from the Government, it is still of concern to us.  Of concern is the amount of time that has passed without a resolution - or indeed any sign of progress - in resolving the matter.  We trust that this delay is not an indication that we are going to be stuck with gas-mining and Metgasco - and that the Government has caved in to the industry.

If that is the case, as we have said in the past, the Nannas, who would prefer a relaxed nannerly lifestyle, will return to campaigning strongly with other members of our community who oppose this invasive, polluting industry.

 The Nannas want effective action on achieving a gasfield free Northern Rivers.  We want PEL 426 and the petroleum exploration licences in our region rescinded. We urge you to convey our concerns to the relevant Government ministers.

Nannas delivering letter to Gulaptis' office

Tuesday, 16 June 2015


14th June 2015

The Grafton Loop of the Knitting Nannas Against Gas celebrated “World Wide Knit in Public Day” in Market Square in Grafton on Saturday.
A highlight of this special knit-in was the unveiling of a pair of giant knitting needles which were so large that they needed two stalwart Nannas to wield them. 

During the knit-in the Nannas called on local National MPs to stitch up the big issues associated with the gas-mining industry in the Clarence and the rest of the Northern Rivers.
“We are very disappointed that the Nationals rejected the move to vote at their State Conference to have the Northern Rivers made gasfield free,” said spokesperson Lynette Eggins.
“Following all the hype from some North Coast Nationals about listening to their communities as well as the statements from State Leader Troy Grant, we were beginning to think the Nationals were serious about keeping this area free of that invasive, polluting industry.”
“There are seven PELs (Petroleum Exploration Licences) in the Clarence electorate.  Three of these have expired.  They should not be renewed. And we call on the Government to cancel the other four, two of which are held by Metgasco.”
“We also call on the Member for Lismore, Thomas George, to support his fellow National, Chris Gulaptis, in having the whole Northern Rivers declared gasfield free,” Ms Eggins continued.
The Nannas believe that if the Nationals and their Coalition partners, the Liberals, fail to declare this region gasfield free, it is very likely that there will be more big confrontations like those seen at Glenugie, Doubtful Creek and Bentley. The Nannas and many others were hoping that these confrontations were a thing of the past in the Northern Rivers.

Sunday, 14 June 2015


The Grafton Nannas have been lobbying their local member  about their concerns about CSG and unconventional gas-mining since the time of the Glenugie campaign  around the end of 2012.

Many members of our community want a gasfield free northern rivers because they believe this industry threatens the local natural environment, productive agricultural land and the health of the community.

It has been difficult to convince local Members of Parliament about the validity of our concerns but, following the March State Election where sitting members lost votes, it seems that the penny has finally dropped. 

The Knitting Nannas Against Gas who are members of the Grafton Loop are very pleased that their local State Member of Parliament, Chris Gulaptis,  is now reflecting the views of a majority of his constituents in the Clarence Electorate. He conveys this clearly in a recent speech in the NSW Legislative Assembly.

* * * * * * *

Transcript from Hansard of the speech made by Chris Gulaptis MP, Member for Clarence, to the NSW Parliament on 7th May, 2015.

Mr CHRISTOPHER GULAPTIS (Clarence—Parliamentary Secretary) [1.21 p.m.]: I speak for the first time in this the Fifty-sixth Parliament of New South Wales with the honour and privilege to serve as the member for Clarence. I thank the voters in the electorate of Clarence for this privilege. It is also a great privilege to serve this Parliament as Parliamentary Secretary for the North Coast, and I take on this role with great humility and with all due responsibility.

During the election campaign and, in fact, over the past four years, one issue has been at the forefront of community concern across the North Coast, and that issue is coal seam gas [CSG]. Since coming to government in 2011, the Liberal and Nationals Government has taken every measure to regulate the coal seam gas industry and to provide protections for our water and our environment. We have taken a very measured approach to the development of a CSG industry in New South Wales when compared with the approach of the previous Labor Government and we have taken a much more precautionary approach to that taken by the Queensland Government.

The NSW Gas Plan developed by the Liberal and Nationals Government is based on science. It has been very successful in reducing the CSG footprint across New South Wales from about 48 per cent to 11 per cent through its buyback program as well as through the cancellation of licences, where appropriate. But still community opposition to CSG grows. I live in this community and I hear what a wide cross section of people say.

These are people from all walks of life, like the Knitting Nannas who sit outside my office every Tuesday afternoon, the famers who rely on the clean, green reputation we have in the Northern Rivers to market their produce, and just ordinary townsfolk who are concerned about the future for their grandkids. These are not extremists, just everyday people from my electorate. They are very fearful of the potential for long-term impacts on our water, our land, our livelihood, our health and our lifestyle that the CSG industry may have in my electorate of Clarence and in our beautiful Northern Rivers. We live in a lifestyle region and we must protect the very essence that makes it such a wonderful place to live.

I applauded the action taken by the Liberal and Nationals Government to suspend Metgasco's drilling program at Bentley last year, and so did the people of the Northern Rivers. There is something very fundamentally wrong when 6,000 or 7,000 people are prepared to confront 1,000 police because they feel so concerned about the impacts of the CSG industry, that it is an industry which is incompatible with our traditional agricultural industries, that it is wrong for the Northern Rivers and that it is dangerous to our environment. Confrontation of this magnitude is not the way we conduct business in any jurisdiction in Australia, nor is it acceptable or appropriate to conduct business like this in the electorate of Clarence.

I was extremely disappointed by the decision of the Supreme Court of New South Wales to quash the suspension of the drilling program issued to Metgasco by the New South Wales Government. I was disappointed because I believe the decision is wrong and it flies in the face of community sentiment. The community wants a gas field-free Northern Rivers. I support my community and I support this proposition.

I have urged the Government to explore every opportunity to appeal the decision of the Supreme Court. Should this not be an option, then I firmly believe that the Government has the capacity to deliver a gas field-free Northern Rivers through the NSW Gas Plan. I urge the Government to investigate, as a matter of urgency, every option available to do so, starting with the Metgasco licence. I believe there is an opportunity whereby a compromise position can be reached which satisfies Metgasco, the New South Wales Government, the taxpayers of New South Wales and the community of the Northern Rivers. They want a gas field-free Northern Rivers. That is what I want, I know that is what my colleagues on the North Coast want and that is the goal we should be aiming for as a government.

Monday, 1 June 2015


The Grafton Nannas welcomed back stalwarts who'd been busy elsewhere in previous weeks - Julie, Pam and Lynette. As usual all the Nannas had a great natter about gas (always a fascinating topic)  and (of course) politicians and many other matters.

 Sarah, who had metres and metres of french knitting (result of a year or more of knit-ins) found a very impressive use for the long, skinny yellow snake and showed us how to arm knit.
The result was a spectacular necklace, which Sarah modelled using  some very fancy dance steps which entertained us all.

As usual there were some interesting chats with passers-by.

Lynette's needling brooch.

Wednesday, 13 May 2015


The Grafton Nannas have been knitting every week in their usual spot outside Chris Gulaptis' Prince Street office but, as the Nannablogger has been cruising elsewhere, their exploits of the last few weeks have not been recorded in the blog.

This week the Grafton Loop was joined by a visitor - Anna's mother.  We were  delighted to meet Val who at 95 still wields a mean pair of needles and is very supportive of the Nannas' cause.
Val with her knitting - and she's spot-on with the colours!

Suzanne was finishing her colourful scarf for her grandson who had helped in the design and Donna showed her interesting neckwarmer/poncho which Sarah modelled for us. 

Donna was showing off her collection of bamboo needles which, seeing she has so many,  some of us suspect she might be going to hire out. (Perhaps she will heed our federal treasurer's call and "Have a go" setting up a new business - Nannas Knitting Needle Hire!)

Wednesday, 6 May 2015


The Grafton Loop of the Knitting Nannas Against Gas delivered a letter to their local State Member, Chris Gulaptis (Member for Clarence) on May 5.  This letter deals with Petroleum Exploration Licence (PEL) 445 and with the Government's response to gas miner Metgasco's recent court challenge.  The text of the letter is printed below.

The Grafton Nannas have been pleased to note that the elected representatives in the Northern Rivers are taking seriously the strength of community opposition to gas-mining in the region.  We trust that before too long this will lead to the Northern Rivers becoming a gas-free area.  Then the Nannas will be able to cast off, put away their needles and yarn and relax and take on more nannerly activities.

We understand that several of your National colleagues indicated prior to the election that there could be (or would be) further buy-back of Petroleum Exploration Licences (PELs) in this region - including PEL 445.

Now that the new government has had some weeks of settling in, the Nannas would like to know whether you and your colleagues are pursuing the buy-back or cancellation of PEL 445.  Assuming you are pursuing this matter, just how much progress has been made?  When can the community expect to hear the good news that the PEL is defunct?

On another matter the Nannas are very concerned about the likelihood of  Metgasco returning to the region following the favourable outcome of their court challenge.  It would be very unfortunate if the Nannas and all those other community members who opposed Metgascos's venture were forced to blockade once again to protect the region from this invasive and polluting industry.

Has the Government made any decision yet about its response to he Metgasco court outcome?

We look forward to learning about your progress in dealing with this issue.

Thursday, 12 March 2015


The Lismore Nannas, those intrepid and undaunted founders of the Nanna-lution, hosted a wonderful conference for Knitting Nannas Against Gas in the Lismore area from March 6-8.  Sessions were held in the village of Eltham and in Lismore.

Eleven Grafton Nannas attended all or part of this inspiring conference.

Some of the Grafton Nannas
 In addition to the Nannas from around NSW, we were delighted to be joined by two amazing Nannas from Cairns who inspired and entertained us. They were Nanna Dotty Dropstitch and Nanna Purl Stockingstitch (AKA Nanna Brunhilde).

The mild-mannered Nanna Purl recording events
Warrior Nanna Brunhilde
Another impressive group of Nannas were from Gloucester - those staunch Nannas are engaged in a strong campaign against gas company AGL's  invasion of their area.
 The Conference was opened on Saturday by Lismore Mayor, Jenny Dowell, who has been a stalwart in representing and supporting her community in the campaign against the invasive gas industry.

The Saturday program provided the Nannas with a wealth of information on the coal and gas mining industries, their hazards and the complicity of governments in assisting them despite these industries' very negative impacts on communities and the environment.  Speakers included author and activist Sharyn Munro, whistleblower Simone Marsh, Environmental Defenders Office solicitor Sue Higginson and Dr Mariann Lloyd-Smith from the National Toxics Network.  All that these women told us has strengthened our resolve to campaign against the invasive and toxic gas industry.

A lighter note was introduced by the Lismore Nannas in a series of short segments late in the afternoon just before Nanna nap time.  These included a description by two Nannas of how they assisted simmos at the Bentley Blockade and a hilarious Wonder Woman segment by Nanna Frances. 

And Grafton's Nanna Dianne was lucky to be awarded the "under the seat" prize (an interesting variation on a lucky door prize in which a prize notice was taped under a chair.)  The prize was one of Nanna Louise's wonderful Chooks Against Gas.
Louise and Chooks Against Gas
 During the weekend the Nannas had plenty of opportunity for plotting and nattering and for enjoying each others company.  And there were two magnificent dinners - on Friday night at the Eltham Pub (a great venue) and on Saturday night at the Eltham Hall (which was catered for by the tireless Lismore Loop.)
Some of the Nannas dining on Friday evening
 During the Saturday dinner the various Loops gave presentations on their activities - which proved both varied and interesting.  The Grafton Loop's presentation consisted of a collage of photos taken over the last two plus years - from Glenugie onwards- and a video of Nanna Poet Dorothy declaiming her Nanna poem.

As well as planning the event and organising dinners and transport the Lismore Nannas also provided accommodation for most of the out-of-town visitors.  This gave visitors a wonderful opportunity to get to know their hosts and to develop links which undoubtedly will be very beneficial in furthering the nanna-lution.

The weekend concluded with the viewing of Dayne Partzky's movie Frackman at the Lismore cinema. The Nannas were there, yellow-bereted and sitting in a block, in a cinema which was completely full. 
Some of the Nannas at Frackman
 Everyone should see this movie because it clearly shows just how ruthless the industry is and how devastating it is to local communities and the natural environment.

It was a great conference and those Grafton Nannas who were there for the whole program returned home absolutely nanna-knackered.