Preliminary construction work on the controversial Maules Creek coal mine has been stopped for the second time this week, as local residents and supporters blockade the site. Around 20 protesters are at the site and they have immobilised eleven machines with a pole structure that has a person attached at its peak. Entrances to the site have also been blocked.
Leard Forest Alliance spokesperson Emma Giles is among the blockaders, and said, “This coal mine should never have been approved. The company provided false information about its biodiversity offsets in order to secure Federal environmental approval. We call on Minister Greg Hunt to immediately revoke that approval.”
“The truth is it's impossible to offset the loss of this irreplaceable biodiversity hotspot. The 1100 hectares of forest this mine wants to clear is home to a critically endangered ecosystem, and the dodgy 'offsets' that Whitehaven are planning cannot replace its loss.”
The campaign to stop the Maules Creek coal mine has brought together local residents and farmers, environmentalists, and traditional owners. The blockade is now in its third week and has attracted international intention and shone a light on the broader struggle of communities across Australia, battling to protect their land, water, and future from coal mining.
Ms Giles concluded, “We will continue that fight this mine. The support that we are receiving from around the country, and the world, is a big encouragement.”
Pictures of the protest action will be made available at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/leardstateforest/