AT FIRST they were afraid, now they’re petrified, thinking they can never live with a coalmine by their side.
They’ve spent so many protests telling how Whitehaven did them wrong that they grew strong, but they’ll never learn to get along.
And so they were back, yesterday, railing against Whitehaven Coal’s controversial $767 million open-cut coalmine at Maules Creek.
About 30 activists took part in the protest with a difference – a “civil disco-bedience” event, if you like – replete with live band and garish 70s garb.
The action celebrated the two-year anniversary of the Leard State Forest camp’s formation by high-profile campaigners Murray Drechsler and Jonathan Moylan.
But while the protesters, many of whom live in tents at a nearby farm, took the opportunity to let their hair down during the disco-themed protest, there was a serious side to the day’s events.
Sydney-sider Emily Currey, 22, was arrested after being suspended from a tripod that blocked a road leading to Whitehaven Coal’s Tarrawonga mine for about four hours..
Despite Whitehaven Coal being more than half-way through the mine’s construction after securing state and federal government approval for the project, the protesters have vowed to fight until the bitter end.
Leard Forest Alliance spokesman Phil Evans said corruption within the previous NSW Labor government cast grave doubts over whether the mine should have ever been approved.
“We are not going anywhere,” he said. “The Leard Forest Alliance is in this for the long haul and we won’t rest until Whitehaven are stopped from destroying this unique, irreplaceable area.”