A group of people have shut down Idemitsu’s Boggabri Coal Mine today as part of ongoing protests to protect Leard State Forest and the surrounding Maules Creek community from coal mine expansion.
The group is calling on Japan Bank of International Cooperation (JBIC) and ANZ to stop funding both Idemitsu and Whitehaven Coal’s destruction of Leard State Forest. Two activists have scaled the coal crusher at Boggabri Coal shutting down all operations and dropping a banner that reads “Protect Our Water (in English); Water is for Everyone (in Japanese)”.
JBIC is a participant to the Equator Principles, an International environmental and social responsibility bench mark for private financial institutions. The Boggabri coal expansion is in breach of JBIC’s policies. It will have major biodiversity and environmental impacts, in addition to impacts on cultural heritage.
Front Line Action on Coal spokesperson Meret MacDonald said that both Whitehaven and Idemitsu’s mines will not only destroy over 4000 hectares of native box gum woodland but drop the water table 5-7 meters. This will have a catastrophic effect on both fertile farmland and the endangered habitats of many species including; Corben’s Long-Eared Bat, the Regent Honey-Eater and the Koala.
“Globally, there is only 0.01% of critically endangered box-gum woodland left in good condition, of which the Leard State Forest contains the largest remnant. It is time for JBIC and ANZ to stop funding coal projects. It is not worth investing in, especially considering the swell of resistance from local and broader communities.”
There have been nine peaceful arrests targeting Whitehaven since Monday. Today’s protest marks a continuation of civil disobedience in the face of large-scale coal operations and their financiers.
“We are standing up to protect the future of our water, forests, and farms in an increasingly unstable climate. This is an ongoing chapter in a global environmental movement. We will not give in until these forests and farms are protected.”
“It is a breach of the people’s trust, not only the people of Australia, not only the people of Japan, but the people of the world, when large financiers such as JBIC and ANZ disregard their own environmental and social responsibility policies for a gamble on coal.”
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