Whitehaven Coal protestors face court

Two anti-mining activists faced Gunnedah Local Court on Monday after using cement to lock themselves inside the Whitehaven Coal Washery last year.

Timothy Buchanan, 29 and Andrew Lenart, 52, faced various charges for the September 29 protest which saw the men enter the washery site illegally.

It was alleged Buchanan and another of the accused attached themselves by their arms to a 44-gallon drum which had been cemented. The drum was filled with chains, glass bottles and ropes.

Police were unable to remove the pair and specialised equipment was used by the Police Rescue Service.

It took seven hours for the men to be removed, during which time heavy vehicles were restricted from accessing the site, Namoi Valley Independent reported.

Buchanan was charged with maliciously hindering the working of mining equipment, entering enclosed lands without lawful excuse and with two counts of hiding tools/clothing/property to unlawfully influence a person.

The first matter was withdrawn and dismissed, the second withdrawn by leave and one of the remaining two charges was also withdrawn.

On the one remaining matter, Buchanan was placed on a Section 10, 18-month bond without conviction.

Part of the bond’s conditions states that Buchanan not enter or remain within 50 metres of a mining site.

Lenart was also charged with maliciously hindering the working of mining equipment, entering enclosed lands not prescribed premises without lawful excuse and two counts of hiding tools/clothing/property to unlawfully influence a person.

Lenart was convicted of hiding tools/clothing/property to unlawfully influence a person and fined $500.

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