Margie and Raymond. Two of the people taking direct action to protest open-cut coal mining in Leard State Forest, near Maules Creek in north west NSW. On this day over one hundred people blockaded three entrances to the site of Whitehaven Coal’s controversial Maules Creek coal project, near Boggabri in north west NSW, stopping preparatory work to clear the forest. December 2013.
Hundreds of people risked arrest to protest the destruction of Leard State Forest to make way for open-cut coal mining. On of those people is, 75-year-old Raymond McLaren (pictured), from Tamworth, who has never taken part in this kind of activity before. Mr McLaren said, “This protest is a remarkable convergence of people with a common interest in protecting a unique forest. I am here to defend the forest.”
Police and mine workers arrive in Leard Forest where a protest blocks access to the proposed mine site. The new open-cut coal mine will destroy irreplaceable critically endangered woodland, draw down the aquifer used by local farmers, and release thousands of tonnes of coal dust onto surrounding farms.
A coal mine manager leans on a police car, alongside bolt cutters, at the site of a protest against coal mining in Leard State Forest. December 2013.
Learn more about the campaign to defend Leard Forest and Maules Creek against coal mining.