AMSJ » Anti-mining activist dangles from coal handling machinery in North Qld

Anti-mining activist dangles from coal handling machinery in North Qld

Frontline Action on Coal Paul Jukes
Frontline Action on Coal demonstrator Paul Jukes

An anti-coal protestor held up work for hours after suspending himself from bulk-handling equipment in North Queensland.

Frontline Action on Coal (FLAC) activist Paul Jukes thought dangling high above the ground would be a great way to disrupt Bravus Mining and Resources (formerly Adani) at the Abbot Point Coal Export Terminal, 194km southeast of Townsville.

“Serial anti-fossil fuel activists are at it again, putting their lives at risk and wasting police resources,” Bravus said on Facebook. “A man has suspended himself from a stacker reclaimer at our Abbot Point coal export terminal.”

Jukes took multiple selfies to show how precariously high he dangled above the ground. AMSJ understands the man was elevated at least 40 metres in the air without personal protective equipment.

After a tense 2.5 hours Queensland Police safely removed Jukes from the stacker reclaimer, and work finally resumed early on the morning of 1 December 2021.

“Port operations were temporarily halted to ensure the safety of all on-site and are expected to recommence at 7.30am, when both ship loading and unloading operations will resume,” Abbot Point Operations (APO) said on Facebook.

APO slammed untrained activists for deliberately putting themselves and their rescuers at risk of serious injury or death.

“An anti-fossil fuel activist put his life at risk and wasted police time,” the company said. “These [kinds of] individuals have no knowledge of a heavy industrial site like ours, and this sort of protest activity brings a high risk that someone will be seriously injured – or killed – as a result of their dangerous actions.”

Bravus criticised authorities for not doing more to stop protestors from locking their limbs onto conveyors, coal trains, and railway lines.

“Governments are not making sure there are sufficient deterrents and penalties to stop the activists,” the proponent said. “Activists get nothing but a slap on the wrist in Queensland and are back within weeks, causing a nuisance and wasting police time.”

FLAC thanked Bravus and APO for their concerns about Jukes’ welfare, and urged both companies to show the same for the environment.

“They are concerned about our welfare which is kind of them, we wish they put the same level of concern into the health of our planet,” the activist group said on Facebook.

“That coal is not going anywhere just yet, the resistance to Adani’s destruction continues,” it added.

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AMSJ April 2022