Leard Alliance call for investigation into safety at Whitehaven’s Maules Creek Mine

Whitehaven Coal and the NSW Minerals Council have made serious allegations of violence against the campaign. We absolutely refute these claims detailed in this news article.

Leard Forest Alliance Media Release
MAULES CREEK/Sydney, 17 September 2014 – The Leard Forest Alliance and activists at the Leard Blockade camp have called for an immediate police investigation into alleged interference with mine fuses at the Maules Creek Coal Mine.

The Alliance has no knowledge of any of the events alleged by Whitehaven Coal and the Minerals Council and has asked Whitehaven Coal to explain whether it has breached its own safety protocols at the site, given there are strict requirements relating to security of blasting operations.

“We have absolutely no knowledge of any of the events pertaining to the preparation of operational blasting at Whitehaven’s Maules Creek Coal mine as alleged by Whitehaven Coal,” said Phil Evans, spokesperson for Front Line Action on Coal.

“We are committed to only non-violent protest activities and for two years have held true to that principle. The Alliance supports a full police investigation into this serious allegation.

“We are concerned about the security at the mine site and for the safety of the local community who live in the vicinity,” continued Evans. “Whilst it is not clear what information is known to the NSW Police, there have been no police allegations of impropriety against any member of the Leard Forest Alliance, so for Whitehaven Coal and the Minerals Council to imply otherwise is completely unacceptable.”

The Leard Forest Alliance and those who join activities at the protest camp, have a clearly stated commitment to non-violent actions and do not use or endorse property destruction as a tactic. Its commitment can be seen at: http://leard.frontlineaction.org/participation-and-safety/.

“Greenpeace is committed to nonviolence,” said acting Greenpeace CEO, Lisa Walters. “Greenpeace’s core values and our cornerstone principles are reflected in all our environmental campaign work worldwide. These include ‘bearing witness’ to environmental destruction in a peaceful and non-violent manner. Our core values can be found on the Greenpeace website,” concluded Walters.

“Likewise 350.org is committed to non-violence in its efforts to address the serious issue of climate change and has trained hundreds of Australians in non-violence in the last two years,” said 350.org Australia’s Blair Palese. “We support the call for an investigation into the serious allegations made by Whitehaven to ensure the safety of those living in the Maules Creek community.”

This news comes as the latest Whitehaven “Winter Clearing” court hearing is adjourned until the 10th of October, 2014.

Further Information:

Greenpeace media officer, Julie Macken: 0400 925 217

Front Line Action on Coal spokesperson, Phil Evans: 0490 064 139

350.org Australia CEO, Blair Palese: 0414 659 511