Austrailia Roundup: Three Actions

Protesters swarm on Whitehaven mine site

Whitehaven mine site

Whitehaven mine site

Protesters are blocking the entrances to a controversial northwest New South Wales coal mine, vowing to stop tractors from clearing the forest.

from Herald Sun News

Whitehaven Coal’s Maules Creek project, near Boggabri, has been the target of sustained protests from environmentalists.

On Monday, scores of activists linked to Greenpeace and anti-coal and gas group Lock the Gate blockaded entrances to the site.

They argue the Maules Creek mine will destroy irreplaceable critically endangered woodland in the Leard State Forest, draw down the aquifer used by local farmers and release thousands of tonnes of coal dust onto surrounding farms.

Many risking arrest are first-time protesters, including Raymond McLaren, who is chained to an old car that is blocking a roadway.

The 75-year-old engineer says the open-cut mine means the forest will be clear-felled and he doesn’t believe the regeneration of land nearby will make up for it.

Also at the protest are local farmers and community members who read a statement from Gomeroi elders, traditional owners of Leard State Forest.

The elders are said to be angry at the loss of cultural heritage and Whitehaven’s “failure to protect spiritual places of the Gomeroi”.

In the most high-profile attack on Whitehaven to date, activist Jonathan Moylan will stand trial next year accused of issuing a hoax media release that wiped hundreds of millions off the company’s value.

Woodchipping stopped as protesters shut down millimg_1774

from Fearless Summer AUS

Four conservationists have attached themselves to machinery inside the woodchip mill at Eden, in New South Wales. This is the second protest at the mill in the past week, calling for an end to Nippon Paper’s ongoing role in the destruction of Australia’s native forests.

 “Last week conservationists halted logging at Stony Creek, East Gippsland, in a stand of old growth forest that is home to the  endangered long footed potoroo. We are following the chain of destruction from the forest floor to the mill, where Australia’s irreplaceable forests are being chipped and shipped offshore” said Miranda Gibson spokesperson for Still Wild Still Threatened.

“Nippon Paper are an international company exploiting the destruction of Australia’s native forests and pushing our unique wildlife towards extinction. It is the tax payers who are made to foot the bill and prop up this unsustainable industry. Every state logging agency is a drain on the public purse to the tune of millions of dollars a year. Why should the Australian public pay for our forests to be lost?” said Harriet Swift spokesperson for South East Regional Conservation Alliance. (SERCA)

“Four people are today risking arrest, climbing the woodchip conveyor belt and chaining themselves to machinery in order to send a clear message to Nippon Paper. It is unacceptable that this company continues to take wood from Australian native forests, including threatened species habitat.  This follows on from actions last week, which saw three people arrested while halting logging operations in East Gippsland, Victoria.” said David Caldwell spokesperson for Goongerah Environment Centre.

“This action is part of Fearless Summer, a national collaboration of grassroots environment groups committed to defending Australia’s native forests.” he said.

East West Link protesters arrested after Brunswick St protest

Police have forcibly removed a crowd in Melbourne who oppose a highway expansion

(Incident)

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