Claims Maules Creek protestors interfered with explosives on site

Police are currently investigating an incident on September 10 where it is claimed people trespassed on the Maules Creek site and cut 187 down-lines attached to explosives that were prepared for firing later that week, and then attempted to fill in the blast holes with dirt and rubble.

The alleged actions have been slammed by the NSW Minerals Council.

“This reckless and dangerous act of industrial sabotage is a wake up call for the NSW government. Those responsible have directly threatened lives, including their own, by tampering with powerful industrial explosive charges used in mine operations,” NSW Minerals Council CEO, Stephen Galilee said today.

“Violent and dangerous activities have escalated in recent months. As well as deliberate trespassing and interference with heavy equipment by protesters, a security vehicle has been rammed, gates have been blockaded or destroyed, and now we have had industrial explosives being sabotaged.

“We have raised safety concerns about the trespassing of protesters with the NSW Government on a number of occasions. I hope we will now see action,” Galilee said.

“Without action from the Government to deter this type of illegal access activity it is only a matter of time before someone is seriously hurt, despite the best efforts of police and emergency services personnel and site workers to ensure safety.

"People have a right to protest, but it must be within the law. No-one has the right to put others at risk. And when people choose to ignore the law they should be held accountable for their actions.”

However these claims have been rubbished by Front Line Action on Coal, which has carried out a protest at the mine for the last two years.

"These are ridiculous allegations," FLAC spokesperson Phil Evans told Australian Mining.

"We find it offensive.

"We have run a peaceful campaign that would never undertake violent and destructive action such as this.

"These are deplorable allegations, we would never carry out property destruction." 

The allegations come on the back of new protests, where activists have locked themselves to concrete filled barrels in an attempt to block access to to the main entrance of the Maules Creek coal mine.

The protestors have been named as Serenity Reid, 20, and Jake La Rosa, 22.

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