Here are a series of highlights from the peaceful actions taken over the last year and a half by locals, traditional owners, environmentalists and other supporters campaigning to protect Leard State Forest from coal mining… You’ll find captions describing the action above each photograph.
19 March 2012: Maules Creek residents and their supporters gather for a peaceful picnic protest at the gates of Idemitsu’s Boggabri coal mine in Leard State Forest.
11 April 2012: A woman locks on to a bulldozer on the Idemitsu Boggabri coal mine site, stopping the clearing of Leard State Forest.
3 September 2012: Two activists scaled the coal-crushing plant at Idemitsu’s Boggabri coal mine, suspended 20 metres above the ground with a banner saying ‘Stop the Coal Rush: Protect Health, Water, Climate’. The protest came after the NSW Government approved a fourfold expansion of the Boggabri coal mine and the NSW Planning Department recommended approval for the adjoining Maules Creek Coal Project. Read more about this action.
4 September 2012: An 84-year-old birdwatcher Russ Watts, a Member of the Order of Australia, chained himself to the gates of the haul road leading out of Idemitsu’s Boggabri coal mine, stopping output of coal for almost six hours. Read more about this action.
7 December 2012: A group visited Whitehaven Coal’s office in Boggabri to protest the impact of the Whitehaven Coal train derailment on farmers who use the train line to move their product. Read more about this action.
12 February 2013: An activist is suspended in a tree-sit attached to two excavators and two bulldozers to prevent clearing of the Leard State Forest by Idemitsu for its Boggabri coal mine.
7 March 2013: A group of local residents and their supporters visited the Boggabri Mac Village (miners’ temporary accommodation) to present Federal MP Mark Coulton with a list of mining reform demands as part of Lock the Gate’s national Call to Country campaign.
11 March 2013: A protester on a tree-sit shuts down Whitehaven’s Tarrawonga coal mine for a day. Read more about this action.
30 June 2013: A group from Front Line Action On Coal occupy Idemitsu’s Boggabri Coal mine open-cut pit as part of an international day of action against coal. The group called on the Forestry Corporation of NSW to no longer sign access agreements with coal mining companies on public land and for banks to no longer fund new coal mines. View an album of photos from this action.
8 July 2013: Gomeroi Traditional Owners doing cultural heritage work for Whitehaven Coal walk off the job and are joined by locals and supporters for several days of picketing Whitehaven’s Boggabri office. The protest called for a halt to Whitehaven’s destruction of Indigenous cultural heritage in the Leard State Forest. Read more about this action.
30 September 2013: A group blocked vehicles on Whitehaven’s haul road that carries coal out of the Tarrawonga mine to load onto trains bound for the Port of Newcastle. The action was in protest of Whitehaven’s plans to expand its mine further into surrounding forest and farm land.
30 September 2013: Locals together with their supporters from Front Line Action on Coal visit Whitehaven’s office in Boggabri to demand answers about the impact and timing of the company’s planned Maules Creek Coal Project. Read more about this action.
1 October 2013: All coal trucks in and out of Idemitsu’s Boggabri coal mine are stopped by an action blocking the haul road, in protest over plans to expand the coal mine further into Leard State Forest. Read more about this action here.
12 November 2013: Maules Creek residents and their supporters (and horses!) block attempts by Whitehaven Coal to commence construction on a rail spur for its planned Maules Creek Mine (the rail line will be shared with Idemitsu for its existing Boggabri coal mine – at present coal needs to be trucked to the railway line at Boggabri and Gunnedah). View an album of images from this action.
28 November 2013: A group protest Whitehaven’s destruction of Leard State Forest, gathering on the haul road of its existing Tarrawonga coal mine.