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Stop dangerous protests at minesites, Galilee warns Greens

IF the Australian Greens want to be considered as a serious alternative to the mainstream political parties they need to distance themselves from extreme activist violence at coal mine sites such as Whitehaven Coal’s Maules Creek open cut operation, New South Wales Minerals Council CEO Stephen Galilee has warned.

Lou Caruana
Stop dangerous protests at minesites, Galilee warns Greens

In the Leard State Forest, where Maules Creek lies, activists have become increasingly violent, chaining themselves to fences, damaging property, sabotaging equipment, and threatening security personnel, he said.

“In one incident security guards were confronted by balaclava-clad protesters who had barricaded an access gate,” Galilee said. “The security vehicle was rammed, before the activists sped off, demolishing another private gate on their way. Greens Senator Lee Rhiannon visited protesters in the Leard State Forest as a show of ‘solidarity’, congratulating the protesters for their courage.”

In another serious incident, police were called when vandals illegally entered a mine site at night and sabotaged explosives set for a blast the following day, Galilee said.

“These people could have blown themselves up, or killed others working on or around the site. Rather than distancing themselves from these extremely dangerous and illegal actions, the Greens claimed a conspiracy,” he said.

“NSW Greens MLC Jeremy Buckingham took to the floor of Parliament and claimed that the mining company itself had sabotaged its own explosives in an attempt to implicate activists.”

Activists have also chained themselves to NSW Parliament House gates in support of unlawful and often dangerous forms of protest, Galilee said.

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