Front Line Action on Coal Media Release
20 May 2014
Ride for the Leard State Forest
Today 5 tour cyclists will begin a fossil free journey travelling 400km from Newcastle to the Leard State Forest and the protest camp at Maules Creek. The group is raising awareness of the material effects of government corruption on the land, and in particular the environmental impacts to the critically endangered box gum woodland in Leard State Forest. The group will take approximately 6 days to travel the distance, riding through the Hunter Valley, along the coal chain.
“Cycling slows the journey down and makes you really look at the country you’re travelling through to get a sense of the environmental, and social impact of the coal chain” says ecologist and avid cyclist Poppy Danis
“We are witnessing the material effects of the corruption on both sides of government, in their eagerness to tear this country apart”
Whitehaven’s Maules Creek Coal project is Australia’s current largest coal mine under-construction, it is set to destroy approximately 2000 ha of the largest remnant woodland left on the Liverpool plains, Leard State Forest. This will mean significant loss of habitat for over 34 threatened species such as the Turquoise parrot, Yellow-bellied sheath tail bat and the Masked owl.
ICAC inquiry has heard Nathan Tinkler, former key stakeholder of the Maules Creek project, was a central figure in a series of allegedly corrupt schemes to get projects approved in NSW. The group supports a stop work at Maules creek project site and reiterates calls for a full judicial inquiry into the approval of Whitehaven’s Maules Creek Project.
For further comment
Poppy Danis 0410430100
Meret MacDonald 0402017027