Former Wallabies captain charged after Maules Creek mine protest

Former Wallabies captain David Pocock will face court next month after chaining himself to a digger at Whitehaven Coal’s Maules Creek mine.

Pocock, 26, joined six other activists at the site on Sunday where they spent 10 hours locked to the machine before being removed by police.

The rugby player has been charged with entering an enclosed land without lawful excuse, remaining on enclosed land without lawful excuse and hindering working of mining equipment.

He will appear in Narrabri Local Court in January next year.

Pocock said he was concerned the mine would have adverse effects on the environment.

“In 2014, to put a coalmine in the middle of a state forest just doesn't seem to make any sense," Pocock said.

"The local people are not only concerned about the effects of this mine on the climate in the future but also how it affects the water table. When you're living around the mine, that's stuff you have to think about."

Chief executive of Whitehaven Coal said the rugby star "should know better than others the importance of respecting the umpire's decision".

"In this case, Maules Creek has been thoroughly assessed and fully approved by all relevant state and federal government authorities," Flynn said.

Ongoing protests at the Maules Creek mine site have done little to halt its construction.

More than 280 arrests have been made since the establishment of the Leard Blockade camp in August 2012 by protesters – but the mine is nearly complete and set to rail first coal in the March 2015 quarter.

Image: Frontlineoncoal 

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