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Time for politicians and governments to replace talk with action and stand up for hi-vis workers

7 December 2021

Time for politicians and governments to replace talk with action and stand up for hi-vis workers

Bravus' parent company, Adani Australia, CEO and Country Head Lucas Dow has called on Queensland politicians to protect the State’s coal industry workers from anti-fossil fuel activists who are making workplaces dangerous.

Mr Dow said it was only a matter of time before someone was seriously injured or killed by the actions of professional activists who are allowed to flout Queensland laws or run riot after receiving soft sentences.

That risk has grown in recent weeks as activists camping without consent on Bravus Mining & Resources’ mining lease intensify their campaign of worker intimidation while their peers use outlawed lock-on devices to disrupt port and railway infrastructure.

“We’re an industry that puts the health and safety of our workforce first,” Mr Dow said.

“But the Queensland Government seems reluctant to do everything it can to protect mining industry workers from the danger and atmosphere of harassment and intimidation created by activists.

“Activists are camping on our mine site without consent and the Queensland Government will not provide the direction to police in order to move them on. The other day this group of anti-coal activists thumbed their noses at State and Commonwealth legislation by landing an unauthorised chartered helicopter in close proximity to our operational open-cut mining pit so they could unload party supplies, including what appeared to be bottles of beer and wine.

“They use lock-on devices to halt trains and port activities and waste police time and come back to do it all over again as there are next to no penalties.

“Our people have told us they hold real concerns and worries about the near misses when their train could have run a protestor over or when they could have re-activated a conveyor belt and unknowingly killed an activist illegally locked-onto it.

“All sides of politics and government are quick to claim they support the coal industry but when the rubber hits the road where are they? It seems that if you wear hi-vis you’re on your own, don’t look to government to watch out for you.”

Mr Dow said Queensland needed to give the tens of thousands of people who make up the coal mining industry certainty they could go to work without fear of activist intimidation, harassment, or sabotage.

“We shouldn’t be seeing anyone who has committed a second offence having no conviction recorded and there should be jail terms for hardcore repeat offenders,” he said.

“One woman, Juliet Lamont, who was arrested after locking onto a train last week, had been arrested four other times in the last few years.

“She was given a one month suspended sentence and a $500 fine – a fraction of the two years’ imprisonment or $7,000 fine available to the courts under the Government’s Dangerous Attachment Device laws.

“That’s a slap in the face to the mining industry workers who obey the law and whose hard work creates billions of dollars in royalty payments that fund Queensland’s schools and hospitals.

“The man who suspended himself from one of our stacker reclaimers at our port in Bowen last week was the same activist who caused traffic chaos in Brisbane when he suspended himself from the Story Bridge in 2019.

“The Government was outraged about that at the time, but not last week as it seems the Government’s concerns do not extend to regional Queensland’s coal communities.

“Tough laws are useless if they are not applied, and it’s time the Government got serious about enforcing real consequences for activists who choose to deliberately break the law and put Queenslanders’ lives at risk.”

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