Community News

Grafton Nannas who attended the Knitting Nannas’ celebration in Lismore on July 30. The six Grafton Nannas were accompanied by Nanna Kerry, a life-sized ‘Nannakin’ who was made during the early years of the campaign against gas. Image: Contributed


Celebrating a Decade of Activism


Members of the northern rivers Loops of the Knitting Nannas Against Gas and Greed (KNAG) met in Lismore on June 30 to celebrate ten years of activism. Nannas from Grafton, Kyogle and Bellingen joined Lismore Nannas.

The Nannas came into being as part of the major community campaign to prevent our region from becoming an industrialised gas land when Metgasco began test drilling for coal seam gas (CSG) in mining leases granted by the NSW Government.

The Nannas were founded by Clare Twomey and Lindy Scott in June 2012 at Metgasco’s Shannonbrook Pond south of Casino. A second Loop, or branch, formed in Grafton as a result of the campaign to stop CSG drilling at Glenugie, south of Grafton. As concerns about the impact of the gas industry on the natural environment and its expansion of carbon emissions grew, other KNAG groups were established throughout the state and the country.

Remembering the years of campaigning, co-founder Nanna Clare said, “We have been yelled at, told to get a clucking job and/or to get our tits out, we have been driven at by utes, and sworn at by Honourable Members of Parliament.

“Nannas have been arrested, charged and locked up. They have attached themselves to very big trucks, smaller trucks, gates and devices.

“Fortunately, we have lost very few Nannas to the big yarning circle in the sky, which goes to show little old ladies are tough as old boots.”

The Nannas have campaigned through regular knit-ins outside politicians’ offices and outside drilling sites at Glenugie, Doubtful Creek near Kyogle, and Bentley. Their participation, along with the thousands of others who protested at Bentley eventually forced the State Government to abandon the plans for a gas industry in our region.

However, the battle against expanding gas mining continues elsewhere. The former federal government’s retrograde “gas led recovery” has emboldened the industry which has been further invigorated by our current energy crisis. Projects of continuing concern are Santos’ Narrabri plans as well as the mammoth Scarborough gas field off the Western Australia coast.

Leonie Blain