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Anti coal activists blockade contractor tendering for part of $21B mining project

Galilee Blockade at FKG
Galilee Blockade at FKG

A family owned business became the latest target of anti mining protests when activists blocked the main entrance for more than an hour in Central Queensland.

Sympathisers of the Galilee Blockade and Frontline Action on Coal stood and sat in front of FKG Group’s Mackay office for more than 90 minutes on October 15, demanding that the company severs its ties to Adani Australia’s $21 billion Carmichael Coal Project, 160km northwest of Clermont.

The protestors claimed FKG was bidding to subcontract for BMD Constructions, which the group claims to have won a head contract to build the Carmichael Rail Network between the mine and Abbot Point Port.

“We are trying to stop them from going to work,” one of the activists said in a Facebook live video. “We do not want the whole rail going ahead, we don’t want Adani going ahead … we are not going to stop doing this until these people are like the other 60 companies that pulled out [from the project] and have said they were not going to work with Adani, even if it’s not working directly with Adani.”

Not working for Adani

FKG workers, who patiently waited for Queensland Police to arrive at the scene, could not understand why the protestors were there especially since the company was not actually working on the project.

Officers politely asked the activists to move away from the entrance and allowed them to continue protesting on the footpath.

“You are engaged in unlawful assembly, restricting free passage of vehicles. In the interest of public safety and protection of freedoms and rights of others, this simply cannot continue in its present form,” the officer can be heard saying on the video. “I am going to ask you now if you can move off the driveway, up onto the footpath is where this blue car is, the Peugeot please. If you are able to do that nobody will be committing any offences.”

Only two protestors remained in front of the entrance, with one of them locking herself to the gate.

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They protested just in case

Galilee Blockade later defended the move, saying on social media it never claimed FKG was working on the Carmichael project.

“Our information is they are in discussions to work with a contractor on the Carmichael Rail project,” the group said on Facebook. “If, indeed, FKG are not intending to work on any aspect of the Adani project then they should put that in writing and we will shake their hands and leave their company alone.”

Necks chained

The group, which blockaded and chained their necks to trucks parked at FKG’s North Brisbane office one day earlier, is threatening to target all of the contractor’s offices.

“We will target them all the way from Newcastle to Cairns,” Galilee Blockade said on Facebook. “Thanks to all our truck blockade champions … we sent quite a message to FKG, who are negotiating to help build Adani’s death railway, they must publicly commit to never help [the] Carmichael Mine Project.”

Assault charges

Adani previously confirmed two different activists, who allegedly assaulted a contract worker, have been charged with assault occasioning bodily harm and deprivation of liberty. A third activist was charged with locking himself to a drill rig. They were all summoned to appear before the Mackay Magistrates Court on September 5.

The company produced body camera footage that was worn by the contract worker at the time of the alleged attack.

“The footage taken when the worker was pulled and dragged to the ground includes clear audio from the protesters shouting repeated verbal threats of physical harm,” an Adani spokesperson said in a public statement. “These actions taken by anti-coal activists were not peaceful or safe, and put simply this type of behaviour is unacceptable.”

Adani has offered support to the affected contract employee.

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