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Jondaryan coal protestors fined in court

Protestors at New Hope's coal handling facility near Jondaryan.
Protestors at New Hope's coal handling facility near Jondaryan.

UPDATE: A magistrate has fined two environmental activists for trespassing after they were arrested during a coal mine protest at Jondaryan.

Friends of the Earth members Samuel Ian Robb, 22, and Dr Bradley Russell Smith, 29, unlawfully entered the New Hope Group coal loading facility on October 15.

The pair climbed to the top of a coal stockpile and unfurled a banner which read "New Hope: Your coal dump is choking Jondaryan."

Robb and Smith appeared in the Oakey Magistrates Court today and pleaded guilty to trespassing.

Robb was fined $300 and Smith was fined $450.

The convictions were not recorded.

"While New Hope Coal made $171 million after tax profit last year, the people of Jondaryan are suffering a great loss to their living standards and health," Dr Smith said.

EARLIER:TWO Brisbane men from Friends of the Earth face the Oakey Magistrate's court today after their arrest at New Hope Coal's Jondaryan coal loading facility last month.

The defendants Samuel Robb, 22, and Dr Bradley Smith, 29, say they are calling out New Hope Coal for shirking its social responsibility.

"Friends of the Earth suspects that the dust emissions and noise pollution at night are well above safe levels, but the data just isn't being released, so no one knows," Dr Smith said.

Local residents' calls to have the coal piles moved have been ignored for a decade and the protestors are now calling for up-to-date dust monitoring as a first step.

"New Hope Coal's current procedure of collecting dust in glass bottles and then sitting on the results is a smokescreen for real social responsibility," Dr Smith said.

"We're calling for continuous, automatic monitoring which is publicly displayed on-line."

Topics:  acland, friends of earth, new hope coal, toowoomba


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