Protesters from Frontline Action on Coal have today erected a protest sign at Whitehaven Coal’s Tarrawonga open cut mine near Boggabri, New South Wales.
The NSW Mineral Council has labelled the protesters as “irresponsible” and reported that the activists illegally entered the mine site, placing themselves and others at serious risk.
“Having a passionate view on an issue is fine and everyone is entitled to their say," the NSW Minerals Council said in a statement.
“However these reckless actions by activists and extremists put themselves, mine employees and emergency service personnel at risk.”
Australian Mining this afternoon spoke to Jonathan Moylan a member of Frontline.
Moylan denied the protesters entered the mine site, instead saying they remained in the “rapidly disappearing forest” beside the Tarrawonga pit.
The protesters are calling on federal environment minister Tony Burke to assess all coal expansions that threaten Leard Forest, the largest native forest in the Liverpool Plains.
Moylan claims that less than 5 per cent of the expansion of the Boggabri Coal Mine is being assessed by Burke.
“The NSW Government have proved that they can’t be trusted to assess impacts of coal mining in forests and farmlands because they are in the pockets of the coal industry,” said spokesperson Amelie Vanderstock in a statement.
“Unless Tony Burke calls in the entire expansion of the Boggabri Coal Mine, the coal industry will get away with destroying the largest native forest in the Liverpool Plains.”
The NSW state government approved the projects last year.