Leard Forest protesters continue tree-top vigil

A TREE-TOP vigil in the Leard State Forest has stretched into its fifth day as activists continue their campaign against Whitehaven Coal’s Maules Creek mine.

Kate Warren, a 23-year-old veterinary nurse, yesterday took over from Japanese man Sakyo Noda, 36, after he spent about four days high up in the canopy.

Ms Warren, who was first arrested in the Leard State Forest back in January after chaining herself to a gate, is protesting the coalminer’s winter clearing regime.

Over the weekend about 50 people were arrested after breaching public exclusion zones and walking into the forest to plant native tree saplings.

“This tree-top vigil will be maintained until the law is upheld and Whitehaven Coal is barred from clearing the Leard State Forest in winter,” said spokeswoman Helen War.

The Maules Creek Community Council will today seek an injunction in the NSW Land and Environment Court to halt clearing in the forest.

The council maintains that Whitehaven Coal’s activities are in breach of the Environmental Planning Assessment Act.

Whitehaven Coal has permission from the Department of Planning and Environment to continue clearing into winter for its $767 million open-cut coalmine .


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