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Part of $21B coal project delayed after protestors lock themselves to a concrete drum

Frontline Action on Coal
Frontline Action on Coal

Part of a foreign-backed $21 billion coal development was delayed because two anti mining protestors locked themselves to a concrete barrel on October 1.

India-headquartered Adani Australia’s Abbot Point Coal Terminal had to suspend coal exports because Frontline Action on Coal protestors chained themselves to a concrete drum along the terminal’s railway line, about 30km northwest of Bowen.

Officer treated for injury

Queensland Police officers arrested Moorooka teacher Olivia Williams, 22, and Highgate Hill women’s refuge worker Barbara Crossing, 56, after spending most of the morning cutting them free from the 200 litre drum of reinforced concrete. One of the officers was injured during the process.

“A male officer was using a cutting tool to remove it when he sustained a minor cut to his left elbow,” police said in a public statement. “The constable received first aid at the scene and returned to duty.”

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Multiple charges

More than 20 supporters gathered around the pair from about 5:30am and left as soon as both Williams and Crossing were taken into custody. They have been charged with trespassing on a railway, obstructing a railway and contravening a direction.

They have been summoned to appear before Bowen Magistrates Court on November 12.

“Unlawful activity posing a risk to the safety of individuals or the disruption of services or operations lawfully undertaken by business will not be tolerated by the Queensland Police Service (QPS),” police said. “QPS continues to monitor for protest activity in the Galilee Basin across the Bowen, Collinsville and Clermont (Carmichael Mine) areas, with planning well advanced and sufficient to provide an appropriate and professional policing response where necessary.”

‘Slap on the wrist’ not working

Federal Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton urged the State Government to hand tougher penalties to protestors who repeatedly break the law.

“They [protesters] keep turning up, week after week, because they know the slap on the wrist is just not working,” the minister said in a broadcast interview according to the Australian Associated Press. “A community expectation is that these people are heavily fined or jailed.”

Dutton also criticised judges who only give protesters a “slap on the wrist”.

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