Whitehaven Coal thwarted as fresh activists step in to stop forest clearing

Press release - 2 June, 2014
Maules Creek, NSW, Monday 2 June 2014: As tree-climbing activists hinder bulldozing for the fourth day in a row, Greenpeace is calling on the NSW Government to urgently stop forest clearing in the Leard State Forest during the winter hibernating months.

“Just this morning, a new group of tree-climbers entered a different part of the endangered forest to set up a sky-high camp,” said Greenpeace spokesperson Julie Macken.  

The new forest rescue team continues the stand-off with Whitehaven Coal after five Greenpeace activists were arrested yesterday and removed from a giant rope web.  

“This brings the total number of arrests in ongoing community protests against Whitehaven Coal’s mine to over 160,” said Julie Macken.  

A rally outside the ministerial offices of Pru Goward and Rob Stokes – Government Macquarie Tower in Sydney - is planned for Wednesday at midday, as community outrage over winter clearing at a time when native animals are hibernating to make way for a coal mine, boils over.

Greenpeace Senior Campaigner Nic Clyde spoke from his tree-sit, 10 metres off the ground in the Leard State Forest:

“Whitehaven Coal’s bulldozers are destroying the homes of animals while they sleep. Their coal mine at Maules Creek – the largest coal mine currently under construction in Australia – has been given permission to break the most basic of mining rules - stop clearing during the winter months - when many threatened species are hibernating.”

“The state government - Environment Minister, Rob Stokes and Planning Minister Pru Goward - must intervene.”

Some of the hibernating species in the Leard State Forest include:

  • The feathertail glider, sugar glider and squirrel glider (all hibernating most of winter)
  • Barking Owl (nesting and listed as ‘vulnerable’ under state law) and Barn Owl (nesting)
  • Corben's long-eared bat (‘vulnerable’ under federal and state law), the yellow-bellied sheath-tale bat (‘vulnerable’ under state law) and white-striped free-tailed bat and little pied bat (‘vulnerable’ under state law). All the bats are hibernating for most of winter.
  • Coral snake and spiny tailed gecko (both hibernating)

For interviews with Greenpeace Senior Campaigner from the forest tree-tops:

Contact, Elsa Evers 0438 204 041 or Julie Macken 0400 925 217

Images and video:

http://www.greenpeacemedia.org

Username: photos    Password: green

Via FTP (you will need an FTP client such as Filezilla): 

Host: greenpeacemedia.org

Username: media

Password: greenpeace

Folder: Maules Creek

Additional images from the Leard Alliance can be found at: https://www.flickr.com/photos/leardstateforest/

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