Greenpeace protest Queensland’s coal industry

Greenpeace is preparing to protest against Queensland’s coal industry next month by bringing its ship, Rainbow Warrior, to the region.

Federal MP for Dawson George Christensen has labelled the environmental group as ‘eco-terrorists ‘ after plans to protest in Mackay, Airlie Beach and Townsville were revealed, The Daily Mercury reported.

In 2009, the Hay Point coal export terminal in Mackay was shut down for two days by Greenpeace protesters who chained themselves to the top of the coal terminal 50 metres above the ground for 36 hours in order to disrupt coal exports.

The protest is said to have cost the mining industry $20 million.

Christensen has requested the Minister for Home Affairs, Jason Clare, to deploy federal police to prevent Greenpeace from breaking the law and flouting regulations.

"I urge the minister to ensure the same disruptive, illegal practices do not occur again," he said.

"I am sure that such action would be the normal response to any other form of terrorism in this country and I believe North Queensland and our economy deserve at least such a response under these circumstances."

Greenpeace Australia Pacific Senior Campaigner Louise Matthiesson was unapologetic over the group’s acts of civil disobedience.

"Greenpeace uses creative non violent direct action to expose the damage industries like the Australian coal industry are doing to the environment," Matthiesson said.

"That's what we do around the world and we welcome the opportunity to speak to Mr Christensen about what our export industry is doing to the climate and the Great Barrier Reef.

"Recent research shows global warming above two degrees could wipe out most coral reefs around the world and coal is our biggest contribution to that."

Matthiesson said the Rainbow Warrior would be in Mackay on April 18 and 19 and would be open to the public.

"We will hopefully have provisions for it to be open to the public and we really want to talk to people in Mackay about the Great Barrier Reef and the threat posed to it by the coal industry," she said.


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