Worlds biggest coal export port blockaded again!
The 71 foot proa “Gaia’s Dream” takes part in the coal blockade
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A mass community protest at the biggest coal port in the world has succeeded in preventing coal ship movements all day today. Hundreds of peaceful protesters have occupied the harbour since 10am this morning. As the blockade closes, organisers are hailing it a success.
Climate activists are attempting to prevent the docking of the first coal ship at Newcastle’s third coal export terminal.
The Panama-registered bulk carrier Sunny Success is entering Newcastle harbour to receive the first shipment of coal from the terminal.
An activist from Rising Tide is hanging from a rope in front of the berth and is blocking the ship’s access to it.
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“The Australian coal rush is fuelling global climate change and preventing us from transitioning to sustainable industries,” said Steve Phillips, spokesperson for Rising Tide Newcastle.
“So far, neither the State nor the Federal Governments have demonstrated that they are serious about cutting our biggest single contribution to climate change. Instead, coal ports in NSW and Queensland are undergoing massive expansions, with extensive open cut coal mining projects in both states.
“This industry is destroying landscapes, destroying communities, and is directly threatening everyone’s future through major impacts on the global climate. Around the world, species are going extinct, people are being displaced, climatic disasters are becoming more ferocious because of the climate change we have already caused. It is time to get to the root of the problem, and start phasing out the coal industry.”
“The Australian export coal industry is already this country’s number one cause of climate change, and it is also the fastest growing. Newcastle currently exports 100 million tonnes of coal per annum. Already approved expansion projects will double this figure within a few years,” said Steve Phillips.
Approved in March 2007 by the NSW Labor government, Newcastle’s third coal terminal will increase the port’s capacity by 66 million tonnes per annum, or the equivalent of 160 million tonnes of greenhouse pollution. That is roughly equivalent to doubling NSW domestic greenhouse pollution from all sources.