The fight against fracking needed a hero.
Over 10,000 people
put their hands up.
Photography courtesy of R J Poole
When the coal seam gas industry staked a claim on the Northern Rivers shire of Australia, alarm bells rang out. A critical mass of people from all walks of life – farmers, landowners, mums, dads, activists, scientists – organised themselves to rally against the unconventional gas invasion. Despite the enormous public opposition, the gas industry and the State Government were determined to see their gas plan through. A series of dramatic blockades ensued, before the final battle lines were drawn in the peaceful farming valley of Bentley. Thousands of people flocked to the site to stare down the threat of 850 riot police, ordered in to break up the protest. What happened next set an historic precedent.
Filmed over five years, The Bentley Effect documents the highs and lows of the battle to keep a unique part of Australia gasfield-free. This timely story of a community’s heroic stand shows how strategic direct action and peaceful protest can not only overcome industrial might and political short-sightedness ... but it can also be a lot of fun.
It celebrates the non-violent ‘Eureka Stockade’ of our time and chronicles one of the fastest growing social movements we have ever witnessed.
Gasland showed us the problem – The Bentley Effect points us to the solution and poses the question “what is truly valuable?’.
Brendan filming at the Bentley Blockade, 2014
" After following the social movement and the build up to the Bentley Blockade from its early beginnings, I have the privilege of telling an incredible story of courage and heroism.
The Northern Rivers region of NSW has been a leading light in the battle against invasive mining and after the historic showdown at Bentley we now have a well documented victory for the power of community and a major turning point in the battle for a safe clean future.
With so much hanging delicately in the balance it is ultimately unity, altruism and our connection to all we hold dear that we see emerging as the key ingredients to this timely story of hope and inspiration.
This is a story that simply must be told. "
Brendan Shoebridge - Director "The Bentley Effect"