community members occupy Jondaryan coal dump
This morning Friends of the Earth and Residents from Jondaryan and Oakey called for the end of the Jondaryan coal dump with two people scaling New Hope's 30 metre high pile of coal and dropping a banner. After half an hour on top of the coal dump, the two were arrested and removed from the coal dump site.
The coal dump is 1.5km from the town of Jondaryan and coal dust is contaminating the air and water of the locals. New Hope Coal recently applied for an expansion of what was supposed to be a 'temporary' coal dump.
"New Hope coal's operations are an example of 'worst practice.' This is coal from the mine that has left one man standing in Acland. Now the coal dump is making life unbearable for the residents of Jondaryan'' said Friends of the Earth Spokesperson Cassie McMahon. "We are taking decisive, community led action today to let New Hope coal that we will not stand by while they try and destroy communities."
"We are forced to live in houses that are constantly shut up to reduce the coal dust entering their homes. The coal dump is making Jondaryan unlivable”, said local resident Glennis Hammond.
New Hope Coal are refusing to move the coal dump unless the Government allows New Hope’s New Acland coal mine to continue operating after 2017.
President of the Oakey Coal Action Group, Pete Faulkner, said that this amounts to a bribe. “Many people are appalled at the stand-over tactics of this company and at how 80+ home owners of Jondaryan can be made to tolerate third world living conditions,” Mr Faulkner said.
Friends of the Earth is calling on the State Government to protect communities big and small from the impacts of coal mining by legislating a 5km buffer zone from mining activities to make sure the travesty of Acland and Jondaryan is not repeated.
For more information, visit www.sixdegrees.org.au and www.lockthegate.org.au
For interview and photo opportunities, please contact
Cassie McMahon, spokes person for Six Degrees ph: 0427 166 166, email firstname.lastname@example.org or
Pete Faulkner, spokesperson for Oakey Coal Action Group ph: 0409 912 801, email email@example.com