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Protesters try to block Adani coal shipment

Business

Activists have locked themselves on railway tracks and a train carriage in a bid to stop what they believed was the first shipment of coal from Adani’s controversial central Queensland mine.

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Police initially removed protesters Tammy Omodei and Andy Paine when they were found attached to the railway line about 30km outside Bowen about 6am on Tuesday.

Officers were then called out to nearby Armuna train station where other activists – believed to be two women – had attached themselves to a Bravus – formerly Adani – coal train carriage.

Queensland police have confirmed that the women have also been removed by officers.

Mr Paine said the coal train may have got through to Abbot Point port, but it was a hollow victory.

“Adani will claim that their first shipment of coal is a victory. But it’s certainly not a victory for our climate,” the protester said in a statement.

“That’s why people are going to keep resisting this mine, and any other new fossil fuel projects too.”

However, Bravus said it had been transporting coal from the mine for several weeks already as part of pre-export testing, saying the massive project remained “on track”.

“Testing and commissioning of the trains has been underway for several weeks which has included transporting coal,” a Bravus spokesperson said.

“As is the usual process for new pieces of equipment and infrastructure, this is expected to take a period of time as the new machines and infrastructure are tested.

“The Carmichael mine is on track to export coal in 2021.”

Activists have dogged the project for years and had been preparing to again disrupt Bravus’ plans since it was reported last week it was preparing to export coal.

The company said the protesters were putting themselves and others in danger if they continued to target the rail line.

“They seem to be oblivious to the danger they are placing themselves in,” the spokesperson said.

“What these protesters did this morning was incredibly selfish. They could have been killed or seriously injured.

“Everyone has the right to express their opinion, provided they are doing so in a way that is legal, safe and does not put themselves, our employees or community members in harm’s way.

“Today’s actions by these anti-coal activists were not legal or safe for themselves or anyone around them.”

Bravus’ coal project has been at the centre of numerous protests and campaigns in the decade since it was first proposed.

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