LOOP EXPANDS: Anne Thompson and the Knitting Nannas Against Gas protest outside the Ballina office of MP Don Page yesterday.
LOOP EXPANDS: Anne Thompson and the Knitting Nannas Against Gas protest outside the Ballina office of MP Don Page yesterday. Doug Eaton

Nans needle protest turns to Ballina

THE click of knitting needles in a Ballina street yesterday was a call to action for nannas.

The Knitting Nannas Against Gas were plying their craft outside the Moon St office of State Member for Ballina and Minister for the North Coast Don Page in an effort to expand their loop into Ballina.

The Lismore-based nannas have been meeting regularly in front of Lismore MP Thomas George's office for the past 18 months.

They recruited about seven people to their ranks at the Ballina event, which attracted at total of 22 people.

Clunes nanna Anne Thompson said knitting was a light way of raising awareness and protesting against the mining of what the group calls "unconventional gas" - coal seam gas is one - in the Northern Rivers.

And she said the knitting group gave an opportunity for people of a "more mature age" to take part in action against mining.

But the group doesn't just knit in the street - they attend rallies and blockades, too.

"It's a way of passively protesting and providing a calming influence at what could be a volatile situation," Mrs Thompson said.

"And you don't have to be a nanna, and you don't have to knit."

A documentary on the knitting nannas received the People's Choice Award at the Byron All Shorts Film Festival, held in conjunction with Flickerfest in Bangalow, earlier this month.

The Ballina loop will now meet outside the office of Mr Page every Tuesday from 9am-11am.

John Heaton, from the Gas Field Free Ballina Shire Group, said North Coast community surveys and a referendum in Lismore

local government area showed 85% of residents were against unconventional gas mining, and that the State Government "wasn't listening".


LIST: Where you can go to an Anzac Day service this year

Premium Content LIST: Where you can go to an Anzac Day service this year

Not every town on the Northern Rivers will have a service this year

'Rare as hen's teeth': Top Byron Bay site up for sale

Premium Content 'Rare as hen's teeth': Top Byron Bay site up for sale

The agent has touted ‘solid returns’ from property’s ‘key tenant’

‘NSW only’: Should QLD drivers be banned from our beach?

Premium Content ‘NSW only’: Should QLD drivers be banned from our beach?

Residents suggest extreme alternatives to South Ballina's 4WD ban