Adani protester hangs from tripod on railway

SUSPENDED from a tripod, a 23-year-old anti-Adani activist has blocked coal trains on Aurizon's railway from reaching the Abbot Point port for more than three hours.

Clancey Maher, from Front Line Action on Coal (FLAC), says she is calling on Aurizon and Pacific National to rule out any co-operation with Adani and the opening up of the Galilee Basin.

Her actions have been blasted by Federal MP George Christensen, calling her "a job-destroying activist".

"The fringe element, the green job-destroying activists, are at it again today near the Abbot Point coal terminal holding up business and putting lives at risk," Mr Christensen said.

In a press release, FLAC say they have been active in the area for over a year, "opposing the construction of Adani's Carmichael mega mine in the Galilee Basin".

"Adani has recently announced that it is seeking to use Aurizon rail infrastructure, halving the rail distance needed to join the Carmichael mine with the Adani owned export coal terminal, Abbot Point," the group said.

 

Clancey Maher’s protest held up coal production for hours Tuesday morning. Photo: SUPPLIED
Clancey Maher’s protest held up coal production for hours Tuesday morning. Photo: SUPPLIED

"This has sparked outcry from various groups including Galilee Blockade, who have threatened that if Aurizon remain complicit in opening the Galilee basin to mining, they may be painted with the same brush as Adani and targeted by environmental groups."

It's not the first time Frontline Action on Coal has halted coal production around Abbot Point.

Protesters have chained themselves to the railway line, hung banners from railway overpasses and perched on top of poles to stop production.

Last year, 10 protesters who blocked access to Adani's Abbot Point coal port in central Queensland were arrested.

And in August this year, the Sea Shepherd and a crew of protesters headed towards Abbot Point.

Mr Christensen said FLAC and the activist were breaking the law.

"Clancey Maher is overflowing with opinions on the state of the planet but they're not relevant to the hard-working coal-supporting people of this region," the MP said.

 

Federal Member for Dawson George Christensen says protesters at Abbot Point are breaking the law and should be punished.
Federal Member for Dawson George Christensen says protesters at Abbot Point are breaking the law and should be punished.

"Clancey and her mates still aren't getting the message that we don't buy their claptrap, and those who want to swing from poles or chain themselves to railway lines are not wanted in the region.

"All they are doing is interfering with people legitimately going about their business, and working hard at their jobs. They are also wasting precious policing resources in dealing with their antics.

"Everyone is entitled to protest about things that concern them, but breaking the law to do so is not on.

"I look forward to seeing those involved face the full force of the law in dealing with their recklessness."

Earlier this year, community leaders called on the State Government to throw the book at coal protesters around the port near Bowen.

"When you are shutting down (Abbot Point) for several hours, which is turning over $US50 million ($62.5m) a day, you begin to understand the ramifications of what these protesters are doing," Burdekin MP Dale Last said at the time. "It's time to revisit these penalties."

Clancey said they would continue to target Aurizon as well as Pacific National while Adani's Carmichael mega mine is on the table.

"In the face of growing cries for urgent action on climate change, Aurizon need to take an active stance in rejecting the proposed Carmichael mine and associated railway," Clancey said. "Aurizon needs to urgently look at a business model that doesn't rely on thermal coal, our planet and most life on it cannot afford to wait."