A 21-year-old man has suspended himself from a tripod this morning, blocking the gates to Whitehaven Coal’s coal rail loader at Gunnedah, as a group of people gather to support his actions and protest the company’s plans to clear a large part of Leard State Forest in North West NSW for their Maules Creek coal mine.
The group is urging the federal Environment Minister, Greg Hunt, to halt work at Maules Creek mine in light of criminal investigation that is underway into allegations that Whitehaven Coal used false and misleading information to secure approval for the mine. Last week in Senate Estimates, the Department of Environment confirmed such an investigation is underway.
Spokesperson for the Leard Forest Alliance Helen War said, “Whitehaven Coal are currently under criminal investigation over their biodiversity offsets, and the Senate is about to launch an inquiry into the whole practice. It is only reasonable for Mr Hunt to suspend approval of this mine while that investigation is underway – or we might lose Leard forest while the Environment Minister dithers.”
The young man taking action this morning has travelled from Victoria, where his brother is fighting the coal seam fire at Hazelwood.
Helen War concluded, “Coal mines are doing damage to bushland and communities in many parts of regional Australia: we are proud to be here defending Leard Forest and Maules Creek, but we shouldn’t have to do the Environment Minster’s job for him.”
Tell Environment Minister Greg Hunt enough is enough
Phone Greg Hunt: call on him to suspend Whitehaven Coal’s Maules Creek Project licence. His number is: 02 6277 7920.
Email Greg Hunt: Greg.Hunt.MP@aph.gov.au
Click to Tweet: @GregHuntMP We call on you to protect Leard State Forest by suspending approval of Maules Ck mine while offsets investigation is resolved.
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