SYDNEY, 16 JUNE 2015: Concerned citizens will rally tomorrow outside the NSW Minerals Council Beyond the Rocks conference this year being held in partnership with the NSW government. They are calling for the NSW Minerals Council – representing controversial miners Whitehaven Coal and Rio Tinto – to take a step out of the people’s democracy and to call for a transition away from the destructive coal export industry. The snap rally comes off the back of years of corruption findings between mining operations and members of the NSW parliament on both sides of politics.
Front Line Action on Coal spokesperson, Papatya Danis said, “We heard from Premier Baird throughout the election that politics was going to be done differently – but we can see quite plainly here that the Minerals Council and the NSW government are still quite cosy bedfellows.”
Miner Rio Tinto’s Warkworth mine expansion has continued to be a sore point for the Baird government – with just three months ago the Planning and Assessment Committee recommending that the village of Bulga, and its’ 350 residents, be relocated to make way for the mine.
Ms Danis continued, “The residents of Bulga played the game – went through the courts – and when they won, the NSW government changed the rules of the game to help their mates. As long as we see cosy conferences like the one here today, we know that the stench of corruption still hangs about Macquarie St.”
The conference will features a session on Whitehaven Coal’s Maules Creek project which was plagued by a mass community uprising and campaign of civil disobedience and also sessions about ‘reclaiming the social licence’ for coal.
Last night ABC’s Four Corners program featured a piece titled ‘End of Coal’ featuring prominent international and Australian figures discussing the inevitable end of the dominance of coal in Australian exports.
Media and Photo Opportunities:
Address: NSW Parliament House, Macquarie St Sydney CBD
Contact name: Papatya Danis
Phone Number: 0410 430 100