On June 12 Whitehaven Coal agreed to stop their winter clearing of the Leard State Forest in the face of a legal injunction request from the Maules Creek Community Council. Their clearing, commenced after making questionable changes to their Biodiversity Management Plan, and was controversial because so many species of the Leard go into a torpor – a hibernation like state – inside the hollows of the trees. Whitehaven Coal claimed that they used a ‘gentle bulldozing’ technique to fell the habitat trees – shaking them to wake up any animals inside, then bulldozing them a few days later.
When they stopped clearing, many of these habitat trees – ominously marked with a large red ‘H’ were left standing throughout the cleared forest… and now we have seen what has happened to the habitat tree.
In what can only be described as a continued assault on the forest, Whitehaven Coal have begun levelling out the soil of the forest to prepare for open cut mining.
Unallowed to clear the trees anymore, they have left them on islands, stark reminders of the forest that was once there.
The trees, are still left standing on mounds of dirt of 2m high in an area cleared and leveled. Where once the forest stood is now a eerie, desolate landscape, more comparable to a desert. Work continues through the night to remove crush and remove the trees that were felled during the last period of clearing.
This work and construction of a rail line and bridge, and also the construction of the coal handling and processing plant continue. We need to stop and delay this work as further challenges via political and legal avenues to the mine continue.
Whilst we have been very sucessful in stopping and delaying work – check out our news stream to see what we have been up to – we need your help to continue to do this. Consider coming up to the #LeardBlockade or check out these things you can do at home to support the campaign.