Golden Guitar winner locked to water pump at Maules Creek mine:UPDATE

UPDATE

Luke O’Shea and his father Rick have been arrested after spending several hours locked to a water pump at Maules Creek mine.

EARLIER

Activists at Maules Creek mine are at it again, with Golden Guitar winner Luke O’Shea locked to a water pump at the site.

O’Shea is joined at this morning’s protest by his 71-year old father Rick, who grew up on a property near the mine.

O’Shea said he and his father were not against mining, but stated that due to the recent fall in coal prices, another coal mine in Australia was not viable.

“This is not an anti-mining statement: this is an anti-greed statement. We have family members and close friends who work in the coal mining industry and now their own livelihoods and communities are at risk and threatened due to the saturation of coal on the market,” O’Shea said.

“The price of coal on the world market has decreased more than 50% within the last 18 months. Australian mines are stockpiling coal in the hope the world market prices rise. Coal mine employees are being forced to take long service leave, reduced work hours and pay cuts. We do not need another huge coal mine. “

Direct activism at the Whitehaven Coal’s Maules Creek mine site has been ongoing since construction started close to 13 months ago.

Activists say the mine will destroy large parts of the Leard State Forest and affect water and air quality in the farming region.

Protests at the site are common, as are arrests, with Police continually forced to cut people free after they've chained themselves to trucks, trees, gates, and construction machinery.

Over 250 people have been arrested since protests begun.

Whitehaven said the incidents have done little to disrupt construction at the mine, which is 87 per cent complete.

Earlier this month the mine delivered its first load of coal to the port of Newcastle as the project works to ramp up to full production.

So far the mine has produced 94,000 tonnes of coal, with the company hoping to increase this to 6 million tonnes by March.

Maules Creek currently employs around 151 people, but this is expected to surge to 450 when the mine reaches full production capacity.

Images: @FLACCoal

To keep up to date with Australian Mining, subscribe to our free email newsletters delivered straight to your inbox. Click here.