Protester locks herself to gate at Acland mine

Jamie Yarnold, Kelly Purnell, Chantelle McKenna and Dylan Sweeney outside the Acland mine gate.
Jamie Yarnold, Kelly Purnell, Chantelle McKenna and Dylan Sweeney outside the Acland mine gate. Contributed

A PROTESTER has locked herself to a gate at New Hope's Acland mine and halted trucks to demand a stop to an expansion of the mine.

Ms Kelly Purnell said she took the drastic step to blockade the coal mine because the environmental authority for expansion of the mine was a farce.

Ms Purnell is currently speaking with police negotiators and no arrests have been made.

The protester is a member of Front Line Action on Coal which has united with protest group Lock The Gate Alliance to demand a halt on the environmental authority decision for the stage 3 expansion of the Acland mine.

Front Line Action on Coal spokesperson Chantelle McKenna said the group was calling on the Queensland Government to conduct a promised public inquiry into political donations linked to mine approvals.

"The Oakey Coal Action Alliance are taking the fight of the Acland mine expansion to land court later this year and they need full support, especially after government assurances expansion would not go ahead," she said.

"There can be no assessment on expansion of this mine until the corruption inquiry is completed and we have a result from the land court.

"We're calling out Premier Palaszczuk for continuing the back flip trend that we've seen from the previous two successive state governments."

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A New Hope Group spokesperson said the company acted immediately to make sure everyone at the New Acland mine, including a small number of protesters, was as safe as possible during the protest action.

"We are running a legitimate mining operation and our first thought always has to be the safety of everyone on our site.

"These people placed themselves in a potentially very dangerous position unnecessarily and also risked the safety of our employees at the site by their actions."

The spokesperson said the action appeared to be part of a wider campaign to stop the Australian coal industry.

"Our door is always open for anyone to come and talk to us about any issues in a sensible and constructive way."


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