A 27-year-old Canberra woman stopped coal trains for 19 hours after protesting up a tree near Collinsville.
A 27-year-old Canberra woman stopped coal trains for 19 hours after protesting up a tree near Collinsville. Monique Preston

Arrest of tree protester who stopped coal trains

POLICE have arrested a protester who stopped coal trains going to Abbot Point for 19 hours.

It is alleged the 27-year-old Canberra woman climbed a tree over the Newlands railway line about 20 minutes' drive from Collinsville at about 3pm on Thursday with the intention to block coal trains using the line.

A Queensland Police spokesperson said police were called to the scene at 4.45pm Thursday, where they found the woman 15m up the tree and attached to the train track with a security rope.

All Aurizon coal trains using the line were stopped by the woman's actions, police said.

Police attempted to negotiate with the woman on Thursday, but were unsuccessful, the spokesperson said.

At 8am this morning, the woman was still up the tree and refused to be lowered, police said.

Specialist police officers with training to deal with protests were sent to the scene at noon today and she was lowered to the ground, the spokesperson said.

The woman was arrested and taken to Bowen police station. It is expected charges will be laid. 

The police spokesperson said police were aware of potential further protest activity in and around Abbot Point and were well prepared to take action if needed.