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The Leard State Forest, located in northern NSW, is home to endangered species and countless native animals. But mining giant Whitehaven Coal wants to tear it down and build a huge new open-cut coal mine. 
This mine would require much of this ancient forest to be bulldozed. And if built, it would have a devastating impact on the health of local residents, water quality, and our global climate. 
We cannot let this go unchallenged. Take action and share using the buttons below. 



Campaign overview


Farmers, Water and Food 

Whitehaven's new coal mine will suck up to 3 billion litres of water per year from the local river and will lower the water table (in some places by up to 6 metres). This will place further stress on farmers in the Liverpool Plains area. These farmers are custodians of one of Australia’s richest food bowls and are already experiencing draught. 



The Maules Creek mine will emit approximately 30 million tonnes of CO2 per year. Over its 30 year life, the mine will emit about twice as much carbon pollution as the government’s Direct Action Plan might save between 2014 and 2020.

'Kicking Australia's coal habit is the greatest gift Australians could give to everybody's children, future generations and other life on the planet.”

James Hansen, former head of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies. 

The Leard State Forest

Biodiversity and Ancient sites

To make way for this new mine, huge tracts of the Leard State Forest - an area known for its extraordinary biodiversity – will be flattened. This ancient forest provides habitat for more than 30 threatened species including the Koala, the Regent Honeyeater and the Squirrel Glider.

Within the forest are many sites of cultural significance for the Gomeroi Traditional Custodians, including ancestral burial grounds. Whitehaven Coal is destroying most of these sites. Once they are gone, they are gone forever.


The latest updates


Dawn of the Dead: Whitehaven Coal, the zombie mining company

Blog entry by Julie Macken | 24 June, 2014

Whitehaven Coal Company is kinda like a zombie extra from Dawn of the Dead. Every time we think it’s finally gone, it staggers to its feet – minus an arm – and comes lurching back into frame. On the 12th of June, when the Land & Environment...

Stop Maules Creek Coal Mine: 3 ways you can help

Feature Story | 14 June, 2014 at 17:14

Not too long ago, a little-known but ancient forest in northern NSW - the Leard Forest - was a peaceful and tranquil place. Until Whitehaven Coal’s bulldozers moved in to flatten the forest for coal, that is.

Winter clearing stopped as Whitehaven Coal raises the white flag

Feature Story | 11 June, 2014 at 19:27

Today, winter clearing at Australia’s most controversial new coal mine – Maules Creek - was stopped after Whitehaven gave the Land and Environment Court an undertaking to stop the bulldozers until a full hearing of the court case in September.

Winter Is Coming

Video | 1 June, 2014 at 15:08

Right now, a handful of brave folk are doing all they can to stop Whitehaven Coal from razing the ancient Leard State Forest in order to build a coal mine -- currently the largest under construction in Australia. The Forest is rare, precious and...

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

Press release | 1 June, 2014 at 10:17

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...

The gentle caress of the bulldozer

Feature Story | 30 May, 2014 at 13:34

Right now, a handful of brave folk are doing all they can to stop Whitehaven Coal from razing the ancient Leard State Forest in order to build a coal mine – currently the largest under construction in Australia.

Historic action at Maules Creek Coal Mine

Blog entry by Rashini Suriyaarachchi | 30 March, 2014

As the global community comes to terms with the dire warning delivered today by the latest report into the impacts of climate change by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), over 150 people are taking direct action, occupying the...

Four Australians that you’ve never heard of are in danger

Blog entry by Danny Adams | 11 March, 2014

Some animals are more photogenic than others. We see cute cats all over the internet, but very little of the endangered Hirudo medicinalis, better known as a medical leech. At Greenpeace we care about all the creatures in our environment – big or...

Senate Inquiry means work must stop at Maules Creek and on projects threatening the...

Press release | 3 March, 2014 at 17:07

4 March, 2014: In light of today’s announcement concerning a Senate Inquiry into the use of environmental offsets and the integrity of the process, Greenpeace is calling on the Environment Minister, Greg Hunt, to order all work on Whitehaven’s...

Can farmers, Traditional Owners, and activists stop ‘unstoppable’ coal giants?

Blog entry by Danny Adams | 11 February, 2014

Over 100 people converge to stop the construction of Australia’s latest open-cut coal mine on 28 Jan 2014. ©Greenpeace A few weeks ago, I did something incredible and took part in my first Greenpeace action to stop work on the construction of a...

'Threatened Species Protection Unit' steps in between endangered species and...

Press release | 19 February, 2014 at 10:14

Thursday 20 February, 2014: Greenpeace’s ‘Threatened Species Protection Unit’ has entered the Leard State Forest – proposed site for the controversial Maules Creek coal mine - to document endangered species omitted by proponents, Whitehaven Coal,...

Aboriginal Elders, farmers, conservationists and religious leaders make history to...

Press release | 12 February, 2014 at 16:12

13th February, 2014, Sydney/Gunnedah. Greenpeace will today join forces with the Traditional Owners of the Leard forest, local farmers, religious leaders represented by the Australian Religious Response to Climate Change (ARRCC) and...

Iconic Maules Creek campaign gets boost with national group CEOs pledging full support

Press release | 9 February, 2014 at 13:17

Monday 10 February 2014: In a dramatic upscaling of events, a coalition has been formed to prevent Mark Vaile’s Whitehaven Coal, from destroying the last remaining forest of its kind and to stop the construction of what would be the largest new...

Trees are starting to fall in Leard State Forest

Blog entry by Danny Adams | 13 January, 2014

As Whitehaven Coal’s bulldozers begins felling trees adjacent to Leard State Forest, the community has leapt  into action in a final bid to protect the ancient woodland. Protesters have launched a blockade at the site of Whitehaven’s...

Maules Creek protestors blockade to stop mine construction

Press release | 12 January, 2014 at 9:55

Protestors today have launched a blockade at the site of Whitehaven’s controversial Maules Creek coal project in North West NSW, turning back vehicles seeking to clear the forest for construction of rail infrastructure.

Blockade swells to over 100 at Australia’s largest new coal mine

Blog entry by Julie Macken | 27 January, 2014

This morning, the blockade to stop the Maules Creek coal mine and protect Leard State Forest has swelled to over 100 people. We have closed down Whitehaven’s access to the site, and construction work inside. People in their 20s, 30s, 50s, 60s and...

Community protects Leard State Forest

Blog entry by admin | 19 December, 2013

Why is Leard State Forest important to protect? Leard State Forest – located between Narrabri and Boggabri in north-west NSW – includes  thousands of hectares of rare woodland and is considered a biodiversity hotspot. The nearest township is the...

Proud to be standing up for our land, our water and our future.

Blog entry by admin | 19 December, 2013

As a local man whose family has been farming in the Maules Creek area for five generations, I can tell you I am blown away by what has happened here this week. Recently my community and I put out a call out to people in cities and towns across...

Now it’s up to us

Blog entry by admin | 19 December, 2013

Court decision leaves it to the people to save endangered forest Phil Spark is one of those old school ecologists who is actually in love with nature. Even the most aesthetically challenged critters have a special place in Phil’s heart. For four...

Protestors take ANZ’s AGM by storm, highlighting fossil fuel investment risks

Press release | 17 December, 2013 at 15:27

BRISBANE, 18 DECEMBER: Shareholders and bank executives will be left in no doubt about the bank’s position as number one financer of coal mines in Australia and its position as the world’s 19th largest climate offender as they made their way into...