Queensland coal port protests

Greenpeace have not ruled out partaking in acts of civil disobedience as it prepares to protest against Queensland’s coal industry this week.

The environmental group plan to take their ship the Rainbow Warrior to visit Bowen, Airlie Beach and Mackay this week in protest of the states growing coal sector.

Greenpeace community campaigner Louise Matthiesson did not rule out using civil disobedience as a means of protest, the Daily Mercury reported.

"We don't announce in advance exactly what we'll be doing," Matthiesson said.

"As far as civil disobedience, it's a part of what Greenpeace does.

"We take part in peaceful civil disobedience when we deem it necessary to draw attention to problems and intervene in environmental wrongs."

Matthiesson said the group was opposed to expanding coal ports in Queensland, and aim to draw attention to environmental issues.

"Our position, we are opposed to expanding coal export out of Abbot Point, and that includes opposing the dredging,"  she said.

"The Rainbow Warrior brings an international spotlight on major environmental problems.”

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.

Matthiesson was unapologetic over the group’s acts of civil disobedience at the time.

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

Federal MP for Dawson George Christensen has previously labelled the environmental group as ‘eco-terrorists’, and 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."

The ship will be at Airlie Beach on Wednesday and at Mackay on Thursday and Friday.

Members of the public will be able to board the Rainbow Warrior.

Image: dailymercury.com

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