Authorities swiftly ended an anti-coal stunt where protestors attached themselves to machinery at a $2 billion mining project in Central Queensland’s Galilee Basin.
Frontline Action on Coal demonstrator Zianna Fuad locked herself onto a concrete batching plant, while fellow activists Teeka Latif and Susan Doyle immobilised a flash-butt welder, at Bravus Mining Resources’ Carmichael Coal Mine and Rail Project in Belyando, 435km west of Mackay.
A group of supporters also blocked work vehicles from moving along the mine’s proposed rail corridor.
‘Theory’ risks safety
The civil disobedience disrupted construction work for about four hours. The group claimed the project would harm the natural environment due to the climate change theory, which holds burning fossil fuels creates carbon emissions that can influence long-term weather patterns.
“Unprecedented weather events now seem to be regular occurrences, we are living in the world climate scientists have warned us about for decades,” Fuad said on Facebook.
“It is criminal that the Carmichael Coal Mine is being built when climate change has already started to wreak havoc across this continent. The mine must stop here with us.”
However, the proponent accused the protestors of breaking the law and risking both the safety of themselves and mine workers. A work ute reportedly collided with one of the women who insisted on blocking the road, while machinery began operating while another protestor was still allegedly attached.
“A small group of anti-coal activists from Frontline Action on Coal could have been killed or seriously injured when they used illegal attachment devices to lock on to equipment near the Carmichael Rail Network construction site,” Bravus said in a public statement.
“One activist came into contact with a work vehicle and another was attached to a conveyor belt using an illegal dragon sleeve device, when the belt was energised.”
Dangerous stunts must stop
Eventually, the Queensland Police Service safely removed all of the protestors and work could resume. The company pleaded with activists to stop unnecessarily putting themselves in danger.
“Activists who trespass on our construction site have no idea of the dangers of being around heavy construction equipment,” it said.
“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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