Six day anti-coal rally kicks off at Maules Creek mine

The six day ‘bat attack’ rally kicked off in the Leard State Forest over the weekend with activists locking themselves to bulldozers at the Maules Creek mine site.

The protest comes as Whitehaven Coal prepares to clear more of the Leard State Forest as part of the mine’s construction.

Activists claim the work will cause harm to a number of bat species, with more than 200 people turning out on Sunday in a bid to protect the forest.

Spokesperson for the Leard Forest Alliance, Ros Druce, said the group wanted to send a message that no new mines should be built in NSW.

“There are precious remnant woodlands proposed to be cleared for coal mines elsewhere in New South Wales, and other communities fighting large new mines as big as this one,” Druce said.

“The thousands of people that have come to Maules Creek will now spread out across the state and they will never let the coal industry and the New South Wales Government do this again.”

Protestors also targeted Idemitsu’s Boggabri coal mine over its plans to expand, a move which will clear 1400 hectares of the forest.

Seven people were arrested as a result of yesterday’s action.

Direct actvism at Whitehaven Coal’s Maules Creek mine site and surrounding operations has been ongoing for close to 13 months.

Protests at the sites 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.

Last year a woman dressed in a batgirl costume shut down Boggabri coal mine after using a harness to suspend herself upside down on the site’s coal loader.

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