Leard forest protestors are stopping illegal clearing

The Leard Forest Alliance says Whitehaven Coal can expect more protests over the long weekend if it does not withdraw from clearing Leard State Forest now that legal action has been launched against the operation. It comes as 36 year-old Sakyo Noda maintains his treetop vigil in the canopy of the forest, suspended now for 32 hours and counting in an area marked for imminent clearing by bulldozers.

Leard Forest Alliance spokesperson, Helen War, said, “The injunction lodged by Maules Creek Community Council yesterday is a vindication of protests that have plagued Whitehaven over the last two weeks. They should never have been clearing in the forest in late autumn and winter and if there was any integrity to the operation, they would cease all clearing pending the outcome of the case.

“The bulldozing happening in Leard forest right now is unlawful: the Leard Forest Alliance is defending and upholding the law by stopping Whitehaven’s destructive machines.”

The Leard State Forest has been the setting for dramatic protests over the last fortnight, as protesters try to halt the clearing of the forest during winter, when many of the wildlife species in the forest are in torpor or hibernating.

Ms War added, “Now that this court action has been lodged, we are calling on Whitehaven to stop what we consider to be unlawful clearing in very precious forest.

“The best thing would be for them to stop now, but if they refuse, then we know there will be further protest action over the weekend, to protect what’s left and uphold the law.”

Further comment: Helen War: 0431 930 428 Twitter updates @FLACCoal and #LeardBlockade