The blockade of Leard forest to prevent it being cleared for the Maules Creek coal mine project has lasted for seven days and continues this morning with a protestor suspended 25 metres in the air between two River Red Gums, to protect them.
Yesterday, two women aged 57 and 60 were arrested after holding a vigil at the base of a River Red Gum on the Naomi River that was slated for removal to make way for the rail spur for the Maules Creek and nearby Boggabri Coal mine expansion. The tree was cut down after the women were arrested.
So far, eight people have been arrested at the blockade, which was established on 13 January in response to Whitehaven Coal’s initial clearing of forest for an access road into the proposed Maules Creek coal mine site.
This morning too, Gomeroi Elders and community members have issued a statement imploring Federal Environment Minister Hunt to protect their ancestors’ graves at the Maules Creek mine operated by Whitehaven in regional NSW.
The Gomeroi Elders and community members are asking Minister Hunt to declare an emergency Section 9 temporary protection stay of works under the Aboriginal and Torres Strait. Islander Heritage Protection Act 1984 until these matters and their application for permanent protection can be appropriately determined.