Leard State Forest Blockade Underway

Monday, 13th January 2014 at TBD

Location: Leard Stste Forest

This event is in the past.

Gorgina Woods reports
"The blockade to protect Leard State Forest from coal mining bulldozers is underway. A few days ago, we learned that a bulldozer had pushed through the first cutting of Whitehaven’s access road and rail spur, including a cut through some Grassy Whitebox woodland. And so we brough forward our plans to establish a blockade at the site, to halt the bulldozers and kick off the next, and most intense, phase of the campaign to protect this forest from clearfelling for coal mines. This morning, protesters are locked down inside the construction site, supported by farmers, traditional owners, and environmentalists from three states, brought together by our common cause here at Maules Creek. Read our press release here: http://www.lockthegate.org.au/maules_creek_blockade But there are only around 30 of us here today – what we do tomorrow, and for the rest of this week and next depends on people coming out to join this protest. Please come if you can. Call Hailey or Helen: 0498 264 393 or 0431930428 for information and directions. If you want to see how urgent this call to action is, check out footage of bulldozers making the first cutting for the Maules Creek mine a few days ago, captured by our valiant scouts. You can access the footage at: greenpeacemedia.org (user: mediapassword: greenpeace Folder: LeardStateForestClearing_Jan2014) There are two important decisions and opportunities pending for Maules Creek. Gomeroi traditional owners have submitted requests for interim and permanent protection orders for their cultural heritage sites, including burial sites. They are bitterly upset with their treatment by Whitehaven, and are looking to Greg Hunt to agree to the stop work order so they can care for their sites. The Northern Inland Council for the Environment are waiting for the release of a review of the biodiversity offsets that formed part of the conditions for the Maules Creek approval. If it’s found that the offsets committed to by Whitehaven are not what they had claimed, Greg Hunt is within his power to suspend or revoke approval of this project. If you can’t commit to a long period at the blockade, then put 28 January in your diaries. It’s the date of the next big action, when hundreds of people will be here to walk in and stop work on this project together. In the meantime, we need people to come and help us out. This is the moment to take the plunge, and come to take part in direct action to stop construction of the only new thermal coal mine being built currently in NSW or Queensland, one that will trash cultural heritage, decimate a farming community, annihilate an irreplaceable forest, and leave endangered wildlife dead or homeless. Finally, if you are coming this week and next, and can bring this, we could use more structure-making materials: single bed frames, 6m poles (not bamboo), pipes, etc. Come prepared for intense heat. "

The Leard State Forest is The biggest remnant of natural bushland on the Liverpool Plains in north-west NSW and the most extensive and intact stand of the nationally-listed critically endangered Box-Gum Woodland remaining in Australia. It is habitat for 34 critically endangered species and several endangered ecological communities.

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