Fourteen activists will appear in Bowen Magistrates Court today to face charges relating to the ongoing Stop Adani campaign.
The charges arise from four actions during the month of January, two of which shut down operations at Adani-owned Abbot Point Port for extended periods. Two further actions took place on the Aurizon-owned railway, which connects existing mines to the port. Trains were prevented from delivering coal for several hours each time.
The 14 collectively face charges of trespass, interference with a railway, interference with a port, and contravening a direction or requirement.
The accused range in age and background from Cairns local, 74-year-old ex-serviceman Jeff Cantor, to 23-year-old youth worker Nathan Bernfield from Sydney. The 14 are united in their reasons for taking direct action to stop the controversial Adani project.
Nicholas Avery, accused of locking onto a conveyor belt at the port, said ‘We are at a crisis point when it comes to the climate and Australia’s relationship with coal. We have exhausted every other avenue of protest and it is our government’s inaction which has pushed us to this point. This is not something we take lightly, but the Galilee Basin simply cannot be mined.’
‘Coal mining is not the answer to regional Australia’s problems’ said Lilli Barto, who allegedly blocked the railway by locking onto a concrete barrel.
‘We know that renewables create more jobs per dollar invested, so if this were about jobs and looking after the regions the government would be encouraging solar and wind, creating safer jobs in an industry that is growing, and not creating more communities vulnerable to the violent swings of commodity prices on global markets. We did this for the climate, for the reef, for the future, for everyone,’ she said.