About 40 protesters gathered outside NSW state parliament on June 17 to oppose the NSW Minerals Council’s "Beyond the Rocks Conference" being held in partnership with the Baird state government.
They called for the council, representing multinational corporations such as Whitehaven Coal and Rio Tinto, to support a transition away from the destructive coal export industry.
Protesters carried banners and placards with message such as "Minerals Council Conference: 1. Lies about coal. 2. Lies about CSG. 3. Lunch."
The rally was called by Front Line Action on Coal.
Front Line Action on Coal spokesperson Papatya Danis said: "We heard from Premier Baird throughout the election that politics was going to be done differently — but we can see plainly here that the Minerals Council and the NSW government are still cosy bedfellows."
Rio Tinto's Warkworth mine expansion plan has continued to be a problem for the Baird government. Just three months ago, the Planning and Assessment Committee recommended that the town of Bulga with its 350 residents be relocated to make way for the mine.
Danis said, "The residents of Bulga played the game — went through the courts — and when they won, the NSW government changed the rules of the game to help their mates. As long as we see cosy conferences like the one here today, we know that the stench of corruption still hangs over Macquarie Street."