Narrabri Shire Council is again attempting to evict the Front Line Action On Coal camp which has been working for around 18 months to protect Leard State Forest from open-cut coal mining.
The camp was moved-on from its original site following mounting pressure and complaints from nearby coal mining companies that are bulldozing the forest to expand and develop new mines in the forest.
Several attempts were made before the camp was successfully evicted, these attempts included closing the state forest to general public access and calling an extraordinary meeting of council to vote against the camp. The camp had been in place at Leard State Forest from August 2012 until February 2014.
Following the initial eviction, a local Maules Creek farmer welcomed campers, allowing them to stay on his nearby farming property. But now the Narrabri Shire Council is attempting to evict people from the private farming property.
The Council is citing complaints against protesters relating to alleged increase of traffic, noise, and dust.
Leard Forest Alliance spokeswoman Helen War points out the irony of the charge: “The concerns about traffic, noise and dust from the coal mines are the very three concerns that Maules Creek residents have been fighting against for years,” she told the Northern Daily Leader.
“This is just another chapter in the ongoing circus that Narrabri Shire Council is trying to create against community protest.”
The group is now seeking legal advice.
You can get involved in the campaign to protect Leard State Forest from open-cut coal mining, here’s how.