Anti-coal activists sentenced for stopping Adani coal train

Activists block a coal wagon from the Adani mine. Photo: Frontline Action on Coal

Six environment activists, who stopped a trainload of coal from Adani’s Carmichael mine and climbed machinery at Abbot Point coal terminal two weeks ago, faced Bowen Magistrates Court on December 14.

All six plead guilty, though two had their matters adjourned for sentencing considerations. Four were given penalties ranging from an 18-month good behaviour bond to fines of $800 to $2000.

One matter was adjourned until December 15 in Bowen as the prosecution was applying to seize a mobile phone. Another was adjourned to Brisbane Magistrates Court on January 17 as the prosecution is applying to get a defendant’s drivers licence cancelled.

Frontline Action on Coal spokesperson Andy Paine said civil disobedience has a long and proud history in progressive change.

“Legality and morality are not always the same thing. It requires people of conscience and courage to break unjust laws for society to evolve.

“The climate crisis is a great moral challenge of our time, and those who knowingly destroy our planet are still enabled and protected by the law to do so.

“It is likely those who break laws for the sake of our climate will be justified by history just like so many other causes have been before.”

Adani wants harsher sentencing for climate activists and has posted on its shell company Bravus Mining and Resources social media page that “It’s time the Queensland government got serious to stop this sort of illegal protest”.

Paine said Adani is “out of touch with reality” given that it has repeatedly breached its environmental obligations.

He said that Frontline Action on Coal is concerned about the attempt to cancel a young woman’s drivers’ licence and charge her with offences that have nothing to do with driving. “We hope the court will recognise this is an overreach by the prosecution when it comes to sentencing.”