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Anti-coal activist ‘puts his body’ against conveyor belt at Central Qld mine

Frontline Action on Coal activist Morgan Heenan
Frontline Action on Coal activist Morgan Heenan

A musician used his own body to block construction machinery at a $2 billion coal development in Central Queensland’s Isaac region.

Frontline Action on Coal supporter Morgan Heenan tested out whether he could physically prevent a concrete batching plant from operating at Bravus Mining and Resources’ Carmichael Coal and Rail Project in Glenden, about 165km west of Mackay.

Human shield

A photo shared on social media shows Heenan locked onto one of Bravus’ (formerly Adani Australia) conveyor belts perched high above the ground. He appears to be using his body as a human shield to block the path of any material being transported.

“It seems the only thing left to do is to put our bodies against this instrument and say, ‘You are going to have to pull me off because I will not sit by and watch,'” he said in a video shared on Facebook.

“I am going to be locking onto machinery at Adani’s construction site to delay work as long as possible.”

Theory claimed

The protestor accused the proponent of being responsible for climate change, a theory that holds burning fossil fuels creates carbon emissions which can influence long-term weather patterns.

“We see our country burn, flood, and … we see our friends in the Pacific [Ocean] see their homes slowly slip under the waves, and we see whole swathes of the planet edge closer and closer to uninhabitability,” he can be heard saying.

He then described legal avenues to oppose fossil fuel projects as inadequate, and civil disobedience was the only way to stop what he called a “humanitarian crisis”.

“It is not enough just to voice our disgust, we need to effect genuine change here and now [because] we are faced with a political culture of wholesale attacks on the wellbeing of every living thing on the planet,” he said.

Queensland Police officers eventually arrived and removed him from the work site.

Illegal danger

Bravus maintains civil disobedience is against the law and risks the safety of all activists and mine workers. A work ute earlier collided with a woman who insisted on blocking the road, and a conveyor belt energised while another protestor was still attached. The woman was treated for non life-threatening cuts and bruises.

“Activists who trespass on our construction site have no idea of the dangers of being around heavy construction equipment,” the company said in a public statement.

“Everyone who enters our site undertakes full safety inductions, and complies with safety procedures to ensure their own safety and that of those around them – this is why activists who enter our site illegally are putting themselves and our workers in danger. We plead with them for their own safety to stop doing this.”

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Anti-mining activists arrested for locking themselves onto coal mine equipment
Bravus pays anti-coal activist after losing defamation lawsuit.

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