Early this morning (Wednesday, August 5) Ballyn Teagle, a 17-year-old from Newcastle, put his freedom on the line to take a stance against the coal industry.
The young Novocastrian is currently in a ten-metre-high tripod, blocking coal trains entering Newcastle coal port. Police are on site and requesting him to get down; he has refused.
Teagle says he is demonstrating the need for an urgent transition away from our reliance on coal, the burning of which forsakes the health, safety and prosperity of future generations.
The group Front Line Action on Coal say that as they mobilise against climate change, the Australian government refuses to legislate any meaningful emissions targets on an international scale.
‘This failing impacts the world’s youngest and most vulnerable and is in severe contrast to the attitude of most everyday Australians who are taking personal action to prevent climate change,’ the group said in a statement.
Ballyn said he was ‘calling for executives and lobbyists to think outside their wallets, and instead think towards their children’s future.’
‘Already the effects of climate change are being felt locally with NSW experiencing severe widespread drought correlated with one of the earliest total fire bans on record this winter. ‘As the burning of fossil fuels continues, the trajectory of this extreme weather is predicted to exacerbate. The severity and scale of which will majorly impact the youth of today as they deal with a dying planet.’
Ballyn said he was ‘worried about my future and the future of my peers’.
‘The fact that we have no meaningful plan to transition from fossil fuels frustrates me beyond belief.
‘We have had the technology for years and still our leaders drag their feet, actively ignoring the obvious warning signs of a world heating up,’ he said.
FrontLine Action on Coal and Newcastle Climate Justice Uprising are calling on people to join together during the week September 12 to 16 ‘to #EndCoal and stand with Ballyn and those like him who are taking brave action in the hope of seeing a brighter future, today’.