Geo physicist chains himself to whitehaven coal blast rig

A 62 year old geo-physicist has locked himself to a drill rig in Whitehaven Coal’s Maules Creek mining project in the another day of disruption at the site.

Glen Torr, from Canberra, is calling upon Greg Hunt to revoke approval and suspend all construction work pending the outcome of an ongoing criminal investigation regarding the company’s questionable offsets.

“My background means I understand the impacts of climate change. I am worried that my grand niece and nephews will suffer the full effects because of our current short-sightedness.

“This unique habitat needs to be treasured. When you see the sulphur-crested cockatoos, the beauty of the landscape, you wonder how Whitehaven could want to turn this irreplaceable habitat into a barren wasteland.”

The Leard State Forest is home to critically endangered box gum woodland, of which some 544 hectares would be destroyed for the new Maules Creek mine.  As part of federal approval of the project, Whitehaven Coal is required to provide comparative offset habitat.

Leard Forest Alliance spokesperson Helen War said, “Despite Whitehaven’s refusal to release the independent offset review, they are continuing to bulldoze and blast through endangered ecological communities. It is ridiculous that their offsets are under investigation, yet construction proceeds as if business as usual.

“Today’s action evidences the swell of support from a broad spectrum of the community to protect the Leard Forest against this absurd new open pit coal mine. Why is Greg Hunt supporting a project that will fuel catastrophic climate change?”

Yesterday, protesters delayed construction by 11 hours at multiple sites. There have been more than 37 arrests in the Leard State Forest against coal mine expansion since December.