About 200 people rallied outside the NSW Supreme Court building on November 12 to demand justice for the small community of Bulga, in the upper Hunter Valley, and an end to the expansion of the Rio Tinto Warkworth coalmine that is threatening the future of their village.
There is standing room only at Singleton Diggers Club. People in hi-vis vests take turns with supporters of the village of Bulga giving short speeches to a panel of commissioners of the Planning Assessment Commission (PAC). At stake is the extension of a Rio Tinto coalmine. If it gets the green light, Saddleback Ridge, which buffers Bulga from the present noise and coal dust, will go. The 110 Aboriginal sacred sites will go. The amenity of rural life for the people of Bulga-Milbrodale and their belief in justice will go.
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.
The tiny community of Bulga will continue their David and Goliath fight in the courts against a coalmine that threatens the very existence of their village. The decision to go back to court comes in the wake of the March 5 approval by the Planning and Assessment Commission (PAC) for the expansion of Rio Tinto’s giant Mount Thorley-Warkworth coalmine, despite two court decisions against the project.
The Environment Centre NT released this statement on December 7. *** Environment groups have called for an immediate halt to operations at the Ranger uranium mine in Kakadu following a major contamination leak. Around one million litres of highly acidic radioactive slurry has escaped from the mine’s containment area following the collapse of a tank in the processing area early in the morning on December 7.
Lock the Gate Alliance released this statement on April 23. *** The Lock The Gate Alliance has slammed mining giant Rio Tinto after its Hunter Valley subsidiary Coal and Allied appealed to the Supreme Court to allow the Warkworth Extension coalmine project to go ahead. The project was rejected by the NSW Land and Environment Court last week after the Bulga Milbrodale Progress Association challenged the NSW government's approval of the mine.
About 40 unionists protested outside the annual meeting of mining giant Rio Tinto's board meeting on May 10 against the company's involvement in the London Olympic Games. Rio Tinto is manufacturing medals for the games. At the same time, the mining corporation has staged a lock-out of 800 mine workers at the Alma smelter in Canada. Unions say the lock-out began after the Canadian workers refused contracts that would cut wages of new workers by half.