Aborigines protest coal mining

Police have removed a group of Aborigines protesting against Ashton Coal’s proposed mine in the Hunter Valley.

Twenty members of the Wonnarua people and activists protested outside of the offices Environment and Heritage department in Newcastle before being removed by police, according to the ABC.

The protestors raised concerns over the impact the proposed coal mine will have to the Hunter town of Camberwell and the nearby Bowman’s Creek.

Local residents of the town have already butted heads with Ashton Coal, which has planned to develop the mine on what was previously common land owned by the town’s trust.

The activists also raised concerns over the miner’s plan to divert the creek.

They claimed that not only will the mine harm the environment, but aboriginal artefacts will also be destroyed.

However, following a meeting with a Department official this morning, Wonnarua spokesperson Scott Franks said “my understanding is at this stage they’re not going to consider issuing the permit.

"That is a win for us at this stage,” he added.

The miner was gained approval for the diversion of the creek late last year.

The Ashton Coal project includes an open cut pit, an underground mine, a CHHP and a rail siding.

It has a current production capacity of 3.9 million tonnes per annum of coking coal.

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