Adani activists blockade wrong train
ANTI-ADANI activists have been left red-faced and handcuffed after boarding the wrong train while protesting the Carmichael coal mine.
The protesters, Anna Hush and Gareth Davies, were arrested about 10am after climbing on to the train at dawn yesterday and remaining for three hours with a "Stop Adani" sign over one of the wagons.
According to the coal industry, the train boarded by the activists was almost certainly carrying coking coal, used for steel production, for which there is no reliable alternative, not the thermal coal Adani intends to export and which is used in energy production, the key target of the activists' campaign.
Queensland Resources Council chief executive Ian Macfarlane said the two were economic vandals.
"They are unable to accept the laws of this country and are putting in danger the jobs and livelihoods of decent, hardworking Queensland men and women," he said.
"The behaviour of these activists is an assault on democracy verging on anarchy and they should be arrested and repay the Queensland taxpayer the full cost of their irresponsible actions."
Whitsunday Regional councillor Mike Brunker called for harsher penalties for law-breaking protesters.
"They are just nuisances," Cr Brunker said.
"I think if they keep going there's going to have to be some sort of special legislation from Parliament to stop them.
"They've just got to come up with something - either the fines need to get bigger or they need to start putting them away."
Cr Brunker said wealthy benefactors supporting protesters meant those arrested were "laughing off" the fines police could throw at them.
Inspector Steve O'Connell told the Bulletin illegal protest action drained considerable police time and resources.
The cost to the Queensland Government's coffers from continued delays in developing the Adani mega-mine is now estimated at $700,000 a day in royalties.
McCullough Robertson Lawyers strategic adviser Michael Roche said the protesters seemed to be clueless to the fact that the coal exported from Abbot Point was almost exclusively coking coal, which is an essential material for making steel.
"At current prices for coking coal, every day the coal shipped out of Abbot Point would be earning Queenslanders nearly $3 million in royalties," he said.
"Statewide, current coking coal prices translate to royalties pouring into Treasury coffers at the rate of $16 million a day.
"Every day that the Carmichael coal project is delayed, that's another $700,000 in royalties that Queenslanders are denied."