The memo that insulted a dead man’s memory

Queensland Resources Council boss Michael Roche described the death of local farmer George Bender as a “gift” to green activists, in a

Queensland Resources Council boss Michael Roche described the death of local farmer George Bender as a “gift” to green activists, in a leaked internal memo. His comments have sparked outrage, and added more fuel to the emotional debate surrounding coal seam gas.

“For anti-coal and anti-gas group Lock the Gate, this tragic set of circumstances has been a gift”, Roche wrote in an October memo to his board members. The memo adds that Roche has “been hoping that the strong media focus might abate after Mr Bender’s funeral… but instead it went to a new level”.

Independent Queensland Senator Glenn Lazarus has been incensed by Roche’s leaked memo. “If these comments are correct then they’re sickening comments, which do not reflect the sentiment of the people,” the senator said.

Lazarus added that the Queensland community is experiencing a “genuine shift that is happening across the country and across the world in relation to energy resources”. He has called for a nationwide approach to managing coal seam gas and related mining activities.

George Bender tragically took his own life at age 68. Mr Bender and his family had undergone a protracted battle with the coal seam gas industry, because a mining company wanted to erect 18 wells on their farm. George Bender was a well-loved member of the local Western Downs community, and an outspoken campaigner against CSG.

Do you believe Michael Roche’s comments were insensitive? Do CSG mining big-wigs show enough consideration towards the local farmers and families they impact?


  1. “Insensitive” is a mild description of the comments. Totally disgusting and unfeeling. Completely in line with the apparent attitude of the CSG industry to farmers and the community in general.

  2. all the miners care about is the dollar of course the comment’s were insensitive bling Freddy can see that. THEY RIP TEAR AND LACERATE COULDN’T CARE LESS ABOUT THE CARNAGE THEY CAUSE

  3. That is disgusting, how can people be so callous ? this man was loved by his family and they are broken hearted by his death. How low can these people go?

  4. I wish nobody ill but I hope QRC members are sickened by such lack of feeling by one of their number. This does nothing but reiterate what the general public feel towards the industry.

  5. The industry should be shut down, it is about time we all supported our farmers R.I.P George I am very sorry you were treated like this both alive and dead

  6. Inappropriate disgusting and insensitive, this man had family who loved him, these people are the lowest of the low!!!

  7. Insensitive? Worse than that and how disgusting to put that in writing to their members. They do not care one iota about the community only about what they can get out of it.

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