Protester dressed as gecko blocks coal trains
A woman wearing a lizard costume blocked a coal train from entering Australia’s Kooragang Island over the weekend in the last of a series of protests aimed at halting development of three open-cut coal mines in New South Wales, Mining Australia reports.
Most of the attacks have been targeting Whitehaven Coal’s (ASX:WHC) Maules Creek mine, a 2,000-hector open-cut coal mine.
“There is a cloud of corruption over the New South Wales coal industry”, anti-mining group Front Line Action on Coal’s spokesperson Helen War said in a statement.
Whitehaven’s $719 million mine was given its final approval last July with production expected by the second half of this year.
The company has been facing a string of challenges including an environmental group’s lawsuit against the former federal environment minister Tony Burke over his approval and workers walking off the job.
The report added Whitehaven responded by stating the protesters “abandon the truth and principle in trying to impose their radical view on the rest of us.”
The unidentified gecko woman have been charged with trespassing and interfering with trains, and is due to faceNewcastle Local Courtthis month.
Front Line Action on Coal’s website states over 150 people have been arrested this year protesting Whitehaven Coal’s Maules Creek mine.
Aside from the Whitehaven project, Japanese firm Idemitsu Kosan (TYO:5019) is developing the neighbouring Boggabri mine and Idemitsu and Whitehaven have a joint venture mine also nearby.