Newcastle Coal Habour Blockade a Success

MEDIA UPDATE: Newcastle Coal Habour Blockade a Success

Today, over 600 people from across NSW peacefully blockaded Newcastle Harbour, successfully stopping coal ship movements for the day, protesting the expansion of Australia's largest contribution to climate change - coal exports.

One enthusiastic paddler was arrested early in the day, but was quickly released without charge.

The vibe on the harbour was fun and positive, however Rising Tide spokesperson Carly Phillips heard from a diverse range of participants concerned about the many damaging impacts of the rapidly expanding coal industry.

“The giant coal corporations are planning to double coal exports, beginning with the construction of a fourth export terminal in Newcastle. They want to dig up and ship out more coal, without regard for the devastating environmental, social and health impacts all along the coal chain.”

“There is far too much at stake for the coal industry to keep expanding,” Ms Phillips said.

"This blockade comes at a time when Australians are feeling the severe weather impacts of climate change, and increasing numbers of people in the Hunter are experiencing health impacts from coal. We are seeing productive farmland and rivers being lost to coal mining at an alarming rate."

"The profits from coal go to multinational corporations, but the devastation stays here in the Hunter.”

“The people who padded here in Newcastle Harbour today can imagine a future beyond coal, where governments put a safe climate, community health and clean water first.”

Hunter resident Lance Batey made a 500km round trip to participate in the blockade.

“It’s great to see all the people here, making a stand together. I certainly need to do everything I can, as the mad rush for coal has wiped out my community of Wollah.”

Participants at the blockade are calling for:

  • An immediate ban on the expansion of the coal industry in Australia.
  • The many billions of taxpayer dollars spent on subsidies to fossil fuel industries each year to be redirected into clean renewable energy solutions.
  • A swift phase out of coal, replacing all coal industry jobs with jobs in renewable energy and other sustainable industries.

For further comment contact: Carly Phillips 0422 258 069

High resolution images are now available at:
http://www.mediafire.com/?49uwr16bu49m9

Rising Tide acknowledges the indigenous peoples on whose lands we live and work.

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