The fight to protect Australia’s forests, farmland and rural communities from destructive coal expansion is heating up, with farmers, knitting nanas, students, cranky koalas and environmentalists stepping up efforts to block Whitehaven Coal projects in New South Wales. The $767 million Maules Creek mine in Leard State Forest – currently the largest coal mine under construction in Australia – is being blockaded, as it will require the destruction of around 1660 hectares of native woodland and sacred aboriginal sites, as well as threaten local agriculture. Whitehaven is banned from conducting winter clearing at its nearby Boggabri mine due to the threat to hibernating wildlife, but the NSW government has controversially given it permission to break the rules at Maules Creek. This decision has been met by stronger protests at the site and outside government offices in Sydney, where a Greenpeace petition signed by more than 30,000 people was presented. Worse still, Whitehaven has been caught out engaging in “underhanded” tactics, such as hiring a security company who sent spies to infiltrate the network of environmentalists and landowners opposing the Maules Creek and Boggabri mines.
- RT @LockTheGate: Leard Forest needs YOU to take action NOW! Show up to support the action or call the Planning Minister Pru… http://t.co/5ZGGtdmO8t
- Protest: RED ALERT: Join the Leard forest blockade (Front Line Action on Coal)
- Petition: Save Leard State Forest from Coal Mining (National Conservation Council of NSW)
- Blog to share: Sydney rallies parliamentarians to save Leard Forest from Whitehaven Coal’s bulldozers (Greenpeace)
- Image to share: Destruction of Leard Forest, Sydney (Greenpeace)
- Hash tags in use: #Coal #leardblockade
- A broad alliance of landowners, students and environmentalists are standing up to destructive coal mining expansion in New South Wales that threatens farming communities, sacred aboriginal sites, endangered plants and wildlife, and the global climate. To develop its controversial projects at Maules Creek and Boggabri, Whitehaven Coal is bulldozing state forest, and doing it in winter when animals are hibernating. This is normally not allowed, but the state government has controversially given the company permission on this occasion.
- Rather than working with communities and building social license for its projects, Whitehaven Coal has instead resorted to bullying tactics. It is relying on controversial government decisions, spying tactics by hired goons, and police intervention of protests because its projects are so dirty and destructive that it cannot progress them any other way.
- Whitehaven Coal tree top protest continues (The Daily Telegraph)
- Patience wears thin as miners drag out environment plans for threatened Leard State Forest (The Sydney Morning Herald)
- Whitehaven Coal tree top protest continues (SBS)
- Undercover: Spies hired to infiltrate anti-coal campaign (The Age)
- Maules Creek spies just the latest example of the coal industry’s underhand tactic (Sydney Morning Herald)
- Protestors say they won’t back down (The Independent)
- Whitehaven Coal mine protests escalate (Financial Review)
- The gentle caress of the bulldozer (Greenpeace Australia Pacific)
- Maules Creek coal mine divides local families and communities (The Guardian)
- Doctors join protest against $767m Maules Creek coal mine project (The Guardian)
- Protesters rally in Sydney over plans for winter land clearing at Maules Creek coal mine (ABC)
Tools and Resources
- Report: Full Submission Leard Forrest coal offsets (North West Ecological Services)
- Report: Summary Report in to the Whitehaven Offsets (North West Ecological Services)
- PR: Greenpeace sends in the airforce to bear witness to Leard Forest mine destruction (Greenpeace)
- PR: Activists halt Whitehaven’s ‘gentle’ bulldozers (Greenpeace)
- PR: Forest alliance slams secret move to weaken wildlife protection at Maules Creek mine site (Maules Creek Community Council)
- PR: Protesters halt winter clearing in Leard Forest on World Environment Day (Front Line Action on Coal)
- PR: Rallies around the country question ministers on unlawful winter clearing (Front Line Action)
Images and Video
- Video: Leard Red Alert – Join the #LeardBlockade (Youtube)
- Photos: Leard Forest Protest (Greenpeace Australia Pacific, Flickr), Act Up (Leard State Forest, Flickr), Cranky the Koala locks on (Frontline Action on Coal)
- Infographic: Abbott Government’s attacks on the Environment (Greens MPs)
- “Over 150 people have been arrested trying to stop this terrible mine in the last four months because the rules have been bent to breaking point for Whitehaven Coal and we’re fed up with it.” Leard Forest Alliance Member, Roselyn Druce.
- “Whitehaven Coal’s bulldozers are destroying the homes of animals while they sleep. Their coal mine at Maules Creek, the largest coal mine currently under construction in Australia, has been given permission to break the most basic of mining rules – stop clearing during the winter months when many threatened species are hibernating.” Greenpeace senior climate campaigner, Nick Clyde.
- “This peaceful, community led campaign will not be deterred by the unethical behaviour of coal corporations. We will fight inch by inch for the Leard, and today’s show of country and city unity only strengthens our resolve to continue this fight. Ministers Pru Goward and Rob Stokes have the power to stop this.” Leard Forest Alliance Spokesperson, Helen War.
Related Tree Alerts
- Communities fight coal expansion as mining industry shows it has a face for radio
- Community opposition to coal mining grows, as does risk of looser regulation
- Community coal and CSG blockades escalate at Leard and Pilliga forests
- RT @2squig: Community determined to stop Whitehaven #coal mine that will emit more CO2 than 140 countries! http://t.co/rOz974mshh #leardblockade #ausbiz
- Powerful @Phil_Laird1 SMH oped “Maules Creek spies just the latest example of the #coal industry’s underhand tactics” http://bit.ly/1rM8X06