Menu

Peaceful protest halts Whitehaven coal trains

Bush regenerator Jamie Dunnitt, 33, atop the Whitehaven Coal train on Sunday. Photo contributed

Bush regenerator Jamie Dunnit, 33, atop the Whitehaven Coal train on Sunday. Photo contributed

On Sunday peaceful protest, at Willow Tree, NSW, halted Whitehaven Coal’s trains from reaching Newcastle Port.

Trains were stopped for five hours after 33-year-old Jamie Dunnit scaled, and occupied, the locomotives pulling the wagons laden with coal from Whitehaven’s coalmine.

This community action occurred in the midst of a government crackdown on people who try to defend themselves from the impact of fossil fuel industries through peaceful protest.

‘New legislation in New South Wales means that a person protecting their communities from mining will face a similar fine to a company that is in breach of environmental regulations,’ said former mining worker and Front Line Action On Coal spokesperson Jason McLean.

Mr McLean said premier Mike Baird ‘continues to protect the interests of the very same companies involved in the [ICAC] scandal.’

Close-up of Jamie Dunnitt holding his protest sign targeting Whitehaven Coal.

Close-up of Jamie Dunnit holding his protest sign targeting Whitehaven Coal.

Jamie Dunnit, 33, who works in bush regeneration spent the afternoon atop a coal train at Willow Tree.

‘These [anti protest] laws are a last ditch attempt from a dying industry to save itself as people stand up for their rights,’ Mr Dunnit said.

‘We are showing them that we will not be deterred from protesting. We will not be silenced,’ he added.

More than 400 people have already been arrested over the past four years in protest against the destruction of the Leard State Forest by Whitehaven Coal’s Maules Creek mine.

Mr McLean said of the action that civil disobedience ‘would not stop until the government puts the wellbeing of its citizens ahead of that of big business.’

‘We call upon the NSW Government to help communities transition to sustainable economies as the mining boom ends and the world moves towards ensuring a safe climate future. Mike Baird’s condemnation will not stop us from standing up against dodgy companies like Whitehaven. We will stand up to them from the pit to the port.’


One response to “Peaceful protest halts Whitehaven coal trains”

  1. Marc Stead says:

    Trespassing,a peaceful protest,interesting.
    Mr Dunnitt works in bush regeneration,does he also trespass and protest against the rural practices that have cleared and destroyed more land that any mining activity?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

 

Become a supporter of The Echo

A note from the editorial team

Some of The Echo’s editorial team: journalists Paul Bibby and Aslan Shand, editor Hans Lovejoy, photographer Jeff Dawson and Mandy Nolan

The Echo has never underestimated the intelligence and passion of its readers. In a world of corporate banality and predictability, The Echo has worked hard for more than 30 years to help keep Byron and the north coast unique with quality local journalism and creative ideas. We think this area needs more voices, reasoned analysis and ideas than just those provided by News Corp, lifestyle mags, Facebook groups and corporate newsletters.

The Echo is one hundred per cent locally owned and one hundred per cent independent. As you have probably gathered from what is happening in the media industry, it is not cheap to produce a weekly newspaper and a daily online news service of any quality.

We have always relied entirely on advertising to fund our operations, but often loyal readers who value our local, independent journalism have asked how they could help ensure our survival.

Any support you can provide to The Echo will make an enormous difference. You can make a one-off contribution or a monthly one. With your help, we can continue to support a better informed local community and a healthier democracy for another 30 years.”

Echonetdaily is made possible by the support of all of our advertisers and is brought to you by this week's sponsors Vast Furniture & Homewares Ballina and Falls Festival Byron Bay.