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$21 billion project delayed after anti-coal protestor locks himself onto plant

Frontline Action on Coal activist Barney Jackson
Frontline Action on Coal activist Barney Jackson

A $21 billion coal development has been forced to postpone building infrastructure because an anti-mining activist decided to lock himself onto a plant in Central Queensland’s Galilee Basin.

Magnetic Island jazz musician Barney Jackson put himself in an elbow lock mechanism at the concrete batching plant, which is used to build concrete rail pylons for the Carmichael Coal and Rail Project near Belyando, 175km northwest of Clermont.

A photo shared on social media shows Jackson sitting on an elevated platform with both of his locked to the handrail. A banner hangs to the left of him with the message, “water is life”.

Water licence targeted

Frontline Action on Coal revealed the media stunt was intended to show the group’s opposition to the government granting a water licence to Bravus Mining and Resources (formerly known as Adani Mining) for the plant and rest of the mine site.

“A lot of water goes into concrete but of more concern to Barney is the amounts of water that are going to be used for Adani’s Carmichael mine,” the group said in a Facebook live video.

“Their licence is 12.5 billion litres of water each year from the river, as well as the amounts that they pump out in an area plagued with drought and climate change that could make things worse, and our government is giving our precious water away to the very people who are destroying our climate.”

Risking jail sentence

Jackson, who could face up to two years in jail for risking the safety of emergency workers who free him from the locking device, blamed Bravus for damaging the Great Barrier Reef despite the mine still being under construction and without verifiable evidence to back his claim.

“I have seen the damage and pressures that are being put on the reef, something that the Adani coal mine will exacerbate,” Jackson said on Facebook.

“If anything is sacred it is water. If there is no water we all die, humans included. Water is life says it all.”

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Bravus believes anti-coal protestors will ultimately fail to stop the project from creating thousands of jobs, especially after the proponent recently celebrated 10 years in business.

“The Stop Adani movement has tried unsuccessfully to prevent our business from operating in Australia but the fact is there is ongoing demand for thermal coal in Asia and India,” CEO David Boshoff said in a public statement.

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