In November I was arrested while part of a nonviolent protest in the Leard State Forest - which is the site of Whitehaven’s Maules Creek coal mine. Today my case went before the Gunnedah Local Court and the offence was proved but dismissed without conviction by the Magistrate. I’d like to thank Ken Averre for representing me. I would also like to thank everyone who has supported me over the last few months, it has been incredibly humbling. And I’d also like to thank the people who haven’t agreed with my actions but have been willing to engage in conversation about some of the issues involved.

While it is a relief to have the charges against me dismissed this comes at a time when Australia is expanding coal production with the approval of a new mine in Gunnedah just this week.

After spending ten hours chained to local farmer Rick Laird in November, I was struck by the harsh reality farmers like Rick face. Not only does the coal mine affect his community now (producing 18,000 tonnes of coal dust just 4km’s from his children’s school and dropping the water table) but in years to come Australian farmers will bear the brunt of a changing climate - worsened by the burning of coal from mines like the one at Maules Creek.

While everyone may not agree with the actions I took, I hope they will see this as an opportunity to further the conversation about climate change and engage more people in helping to shape what is all of our futures. Our reliance on coal and its effects on the climate affect us all. Action on climate change may seem daunting but I believe we all have a role to play and I am proud to have stood with Rick. My hope is that our small action will have gone some way to progressing conversation and action on climate change to ensure that we leave a liveable planet for future generations.

More info:
Front Line Action on Coal

Lock the Gate