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Greens MPs join protest against reckless winter clearing of Leard forest

Media Release
Lee Rhiannon 11 Jun 2014

Greens NSW Senator Lee Rhiannon and Greens NSW Environment Spokesperson Dr Mehreen Faruqi MLC today joined protesters trying to stop the controversial winter clearing for the Maules Creek coalmine.

Senator Rhiannon said: “Whitehaven are desperately trying to run roughshod over the local community, who have consistently made a strong case against this destructive mine.

“Today I am joining farmers, community members and environmentalists who are standing up for our land and water by trying to prevent this destruction.

“The reckless tactic of clearing the forest during winter and hiring of spies to pose as activists are blatant signs that the coal companies in this region are running scared of community scrutiny.

“The clearing of the forest at this time of the year is particularly concerning. Many of the animals will be in hibernation and have little chance to escape.

“Now is a crucial time for the forest. The Maules Creek Community Council has recently announced it will seek to have the winter clearing prevented, but until this can go through the proper process, the only thing in the way of the bulldozers and the forest are the protesters.

“The mine threatens to lower the water table by up to seven metres. The coal from the mine will produce 30 million tonnes of carbon dioxide each year. 

“The Greens are proud to stand with those preventing work on this monster mine, which should never have been approved in the first place. We are calling on the state government to revoke the approvals given to Whitehaven, and to support the communities who are trying to protect our land, water and climate.

Dr Faruqi said: “The Greens and many in the community are opposed to this massive coal mine which will dig up and ship out millions of tonnes of coal each year, adding to devastating climate change while destroying cultural heritage and biodiversity allowing clearing during the winter months will further compound these damaging impacts.

“Sending in bulldozers when native wildlife is at their most vulnerable is cruel, unacceptable and completely unnecessary.

“The Government must listen to the community and stop this onslaught on our environment. We must end our dependence on fossil fuels and transform to 100% renewable energy.

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