On Thursday January 18, 2018, four of us from the Coffs Coast – John Ross, Liisa Rusanen, Daniel Skerrett and Ella Skerrett – along with Townsville school teacher, Megan Armstrong, entered and locked on to the Adani Abbot Point Terminal, near Bowen, Queensland. By locking our bodies to the two coal conveyors at the coal port, the five of us stopped operation of the terminal for 7 hours, significantly delaying two coal export ships. The action was part of an ongoing, sustained direct action campaign targeting Adani and related operations, aiming to prevent coal development in the Galilee Basin. Our action gained widespread media attention, sending a message to to governments and potential investors that new coal projects are not socially or environmentally acceptable.
Why did we do it?
We were moved to action because we have seen the destruction of the Great Barrier Reef and other devastating impacts of the climate crisis across the globe; we have heard and stand with the Traditional Owners who said no to new coal in the Galilee; we stand with farmers whose access to groundwater will be decimated by the mine; we stand with communities against companies who are putting profits before people.
With the climate emergency escalating around us, a real existential threat to the planet’s amazing, diverse ecosystems and to human society as we know it, more and more people like us are willing to put our bodies on the line and take direct action against the fossil fuel industry.
The campaign to stop Adani has grown in to a massive community movement across the country, winning some significant steps forward: The biggest banks have ruled out investing in the project; the Queensland Labor Party has vetoed the federal government's $1 billion loan (NAIF) to Adani; the mining services contractor Downer Group has pulled out of the project; and Aurizon have withdrawn their application to build rail to the Galilee Basis.
Yet as construction continues in the Galilee Basin, the fight goes on. Our Abbot Point action was an important part of this fight, demonstrating that ordinary people will not let this mine go ahead.
We appeared in Bowen court on 13th March. We face charges including trespass, interfering with port operation, and contravening police direction.
We need help to raise the money to pay our fines which totalled $8000 each! reaching a total of $80000 for all ten people who locked on. These are some some of the highest fines ever to be given to protestors in Australia for a non violent direct action and when compared to Adani's contested fine of $12000 for polluting a wetland seem very excessive and injust. Any extra raised will be donated directly to Front Line Action on Coal.
Help us to continue putting out energy and resources into front line action that strives to protect our future. Your contribution will add strength to the campaign to stop Adani and move this country beyond coal.
For footage of our action see here: https://www.facebook.com/FrontLineActionOnCoal/videos/1474467162666169/
Here is a selection of media coverage:
Channel Nine News Brisbane: https://www.facebook.com/FrontLineActionOnCoal/videos/1475674635878755/
For more background information, see: