Two young activists from Friends of the Earth have been arrested today for scaling a 30 metre high coal dump on the edge of the Darling Downs town of Jondaryan and dropping a banner.
Their action was part of the Lock the Gate Alliance’s National Week of Action which has already seen thousands of people mobilised across the country.
The two spent about half an hour on top of the coal pile before coming down and being arrested They were charged with trespass.
The coal dump is 1.5km from the town of Jondaryan and coal dust is contaminating the air and water of the locals. The owner New Hope Coal recently applied for an expansion of what was supposed to be a ‘temporary’ coal dump for the nearby Acland open cut coal mine.
New Hope have also applied for an expansion of the Acland mine across good farm land and close to the towns of Jondaryan and Oakey.
Lock the Gate president, Drew Hutton, said the courageous action by the two young men was designed to highlight the health impacts from the coal dump and ultimately, from coal mining itself.
“Our direct action will continue until the Queensland government introduces adequate protection for good farm land, underground water, important environmental areas and the health of local communities,” Mr Hutton said.