A protester from Brisbane is arrested during last year's Doubtful Creek CSG blockade.
A protester from Brisbane is arrested during last year's Doubtful Creek CSG blockade. Patrick Gorbunovs

Scipione defends police "strong arm" tactics at CSG protests

STRONG-ARM tactics by police at CSG protest sites also provided safety to protesters who adhered to the law, NSW Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione has said.

The right of protesters to make a stand was respected by the police, but some forms of protest were dangerous.

"It's important that people never lose that right to protest, but it's important we're there to enforce the laws," he said.

"From our perspective we are in the business of facilitating lawful protest... as long as it remains lawful.

"Getting involved and getting tied up around heavy machinery is always dangerous.

"We are in the business of making sure that they don't get caught up in that regard and unfortunately some people get seriously injured and sometimes lose their lives in those sorts of protests."

The NSW Police Commissioner vehemently denied being contacted by ministers who were written to by Metgasco requesting the police presence at protest sites be "beefed up".

"Because we would say rightfully, we're in the business of policing the state; we're in the business of enforcing the laws.

Mr Scipione said police were enforcing the law, not providing security to Metgasco.

"Police aren't there to provide security.

"Police are there to ensure people don't break the law and that people are not injured, that they're safe."

"By the same token people need to be able to go about their own business and not be impeded."


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