23 February 2015
Increased level of illegal activity by activists highlights need for tough action
The increased level of illegal action by extreme anti-mining protesters highlights the need for the state government to implement tougher deterrents for those who chose to break the law in this way, NSW Minerals Council CEO, Stephen Galilee said today.
“Over the last few years we’ve seen the unprecedented mobilisation of professional anti-mining activists, who move around regional NSW like locusts, opposing mining projects and the jobs they bring,” Mr Galilee said.
“Some of the individuals involved are repeat offenders with a history of radical anti-mining activity. These people have never seen a mine they didn’t want to shut or a mining job they didn’t want to cut. They want to destroy the livelihoods of tens of thousands of mining families in NSW, and in doing so they act against the interests of the regional communities they pretend to represent.”
“Members of extreme anti-mining groups like Lock the Gate, Frontline Action on Coal, the Sunrise Project and others have increasingly been involved in dangerous and illegal protest activity. Heavy equipment has been interfered with, access gates have been sabotaged or blocked , explosive charges have been tampered with, and a security vehicle has been rammed. These violent activities put protestors, mine workers and emergency service personnel at risk,” Mr Galilee said.
The increase in illegal access to mine sites by and the danger this represents highlights the need for tougher penalties as a more effective deterrent.
“We’ve had a welcome commitment from the NSW Coalition Government to take action and we are hoping for the same commitment from Labor in the lead up to the election. Regardless of who wins the election, action is needed to ensure there are strong legal deterrents against this dangerous and illegal protest activity by anti-mining extremists.