Adani activists nearly crushed by machines
MILITANT activists who shut down Adani's Abbot Point coal terminal and Aurizon's coal rail line could have been killed and put others at risk, port authorities say.
Five activists from the Stop Adani movement snuck into the terminal and locked themselves to coal loading equipment about 10.30pm on Thursday as part of their latest assault against mining operations.
Abbot Point Port Operations CEO Dwayne Freeman said the activists had risked their lives.
"I am extremely concerned and disappointed in the actions of protest groups and the five protesters who made the foolish decision last night to lock on to one of our coal conveyors at the Abbot Point Port," Mr Freeman said.
"These people, who have no experience, knowledge or understanding of the operations involved with a heavy industrial site like ours are extremely fortunate to not have been seriously injured or killed. Such dire consequences were only avoided due to the diligence of our operational staff, who were inspecting the plant and became aware that the protesters had locked on to a live and operational automated conveyor system."
As part of simultaneous action the protesters also shut Aurizon's coal railway line.
Whitsunday councillor Mike Brunker denounced the protesters and said that the Queensland Government needed a new strategy to stop the disruption.
"There are 180 blokes at the Oaky North picket line and if they step on to the road to stop people coming to work they face millions (of dollars) in fines.
"These people (anti-Adani activists) walk out and high five each other and cop a $50 fine.
"Where is the justice when a 'greens' from Byron Bay can come up and stop operations for nine hours."
He warned continued protests would affect investment in Queensland and accused activists of being abusive to terminal staff and emergency services.
Natalie Berry, a 20-year-old student from Sydney, prevented any coal trains accessing Adani's coal port by being suspended off a tree by a line attached to the railway since 5.30am yesterday.
Police resources have also been tied up in the Bowen region, drawing officers away from emergencies.
Northern Australia Minister Matt Canavan said he was frustrated by the behaviour that not only put the protesters' lives at risk but also emergency services who had to save the activists from themselves.
The stoppage is the latest example of guerilla tactics used by the group.
Members of the Stop Adani movement spent hours hiding under a table in Townsville to ambush then-LNP leader Tim Nicholls at a private debate in November.