December 16, 2013

Maules Creek – taking a stand

Over the last few months the morale of Australians who care about the environment and the future of our climate has been sorely tested.  It seems that what started with the shut down of the Australian Climate Commission, moves to close the Clean Energy Finance Corporation and a push to repeal the carbon tax were only the beginning in the strikes against our future.  Just this past week has seen even more bad news with the government approval for expansion of a new coal port at Abbot Point which will enable the dredging of over 3 million cubic metres of our beautiful Barrier Reef.  Another LNG plant has been approved on Curtis Island, as well as plans for a marine protection network around the Australian coast being abandoned.  What will they think of next?
It may seem there  is little we can do against this anti-climate, juggernaut.  
But there is hope.  
People are standing up, and shouting out all around Australia that this is not what we want for our country.  That this is not want we want for our future.  
A shining and inspirational example of this rising people power can be seen in the action currently underway at Maules Creek, NSW, where over a hundred people are standing up to defend against Whitehaven’s plans to build a massive open-cut mine smack in the middle of the Leard State Forest. An area not only of great beauty and cultural significance but also of great value to the biodiversity of the area.
People, young and old, from all across the country, are gathering together to stop Whitehaven workers preparing to clear fell this irreplaceable forest.  rayProtesters are digging in their heels and have set up blockades to deny workers access to crucial forest roads.  A striking example of those willingness to risk arrest is seen here in a photo of 75 year old Ray, from Tamworth, who has locked himself to an old car, blocking an access road .  Go Ray!

According to reports from the scene both the police and Whitehaven have shown up at the scene of action, but protesters are ready to hunker down and sit them out.

It is amazing to see such a diverse range of people banding together for a common cause, to fight for biodiversity, cultural heritage,  the rights of  rural communities, for the climate, and for our future.

maules creek
As part of our Summer Heat campaign is behind actions at Maules Creek all the way.   Two of our coordinators, Josh Creaser and Simon Copland are up there in the heat of the action with a number of other courageous 350 volunteers.  We are proud of them and proud to be part of this push to stop the Maules Creek Mine.