NEWCASTLE — Seventy people on a vast array of canoes, kayaks, dinghies, surf skis and bodyboards occupied the world's largest coal port here on June 5, supported by 100 protesters on Horseshoe Beach.
The occupation was organised by Rising Tide, an activist group focused on ending Newcastle's reliance on coal as its primary export. The aim was to catalyse community opposition to the proposed new coalmine at Anvil Hill in the upper Hunter valley, which will destroy a large area of woodland containing sacred Indigenous sites, endangered plant and animal species, and a significant freshwater catchment zone, and to the construction of a $270 million loader to enabled coal exports to be increased by up to 70% by 2010.
Rising Tide is demanding that coal be replaced by other, sustainable export industries, and is enjoying growing support from coalminers and upper Hunter Valley residents. People from communities like Singleton, Scone and Muswellbrook are well aware of creating alternative employment for those populations currently reliant on the greenhouse gas-generating coal industry. Visit <http://www.risingtide.org.au>.
From Green Left Weekly, June 14, 2006.
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