Protestors undeterred by harsher laws

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 05 Apr 2016   Posted by admin


By Samantha James

TWO anti-mining activists have chained themselves to a conveyor belt at Whitehaven Coal’s Narrabri mine in NSW, a week after a woman stopped the movement of coal trains from in and out of the company’s nearby Maules Creek mine by locking herself onto the tracks.

On 1 April a Whitehaven spokesperson confirmed that protestors had attached themselves to gantry cranes near the coal preparation area at Narrabri, adding that police had dealt with the situation.

“This event will have no effect on our operations,” the spokesperson said.

The protests come just weeks after the NSW Government announced a bill which called for new search and seizure powers for police and increased fines of $5500 for aggravated unlawful entry to enclosed lands.

In late March a student chained herself to the tracks as part of a protest organised by the Frontline Action on Coal, which was formed in opposition to Whitehaven’s Maules Creek mine.

The peaceful action involved 15 protestors gathering at the railway bridge onto Kooragang Island, where two of Newcastle’s three coal terminals export their products.

In April last year protestors were fined more than $35,000 and charged with several obstruction offenses after blocking roads near Whitehaven’s underground and open cut mines, locking themselves onto pump stations, drilling rigs, gates and other mining equipment.