NSW – A Police State?


Local Farmer Cliff Wallace Stopped by Police Road Block

Local Farmer Cliff Wallace Stopped by Police Road Block

 

The New South Wales Government, Whitehaven coal and the State Police have all been working hard to turn Maules Creek into a fine example of what can be achieved in a police state.  At the behest of Whitehaven coal Maules Creek residents have been stopped from attending Good Friday Church services due to NSW Police road blocks near Boggabri in the northern state.

whitehave coaalThese blocks have been put in place to prevent ongoing protests that target the controversial Maules Creek mine operated by Whitehaven coal.  Wilma Laird was told to turn around and go home or go via Narrabri which would mean a round trip of 160 kms.  Very distressed Mrs Laird stated:

If I went via Narrabri, there was no chance I could make the 11 o’clock service in time. I just had to go home.  I have been attending Good Friday services in the Boggabri Parish for 77 years and I’ve never been stopped at a Police road block before. It’s outrageous.

Other residents were also stopped and prevented access to that road in fact Rosalyn Druce has been stopped on numerous occasions for vehicle searches and id checks which have prevented visitors from travelling to her property. This is an attempt by the government to prevent landowners allowing protesters to camp on their lands.

anti maules creek

Local Farmers Protest

The coal company is working with the government to look at ways of charging landowners with assisting the protesters if they continue to let them camp.  This is in complete conflict with the democratic and legislative right of protest and not to mention the rights of landowners. It is also a desperate attempt to show that the protest movement against Maules Creek Mine comes from outside ‘instigators’ and ‘professional protestors’.  This is not the case as the entire community of Maules Creek is firmly behind the push to stop the the drilling.

Ms Druce said that the road block at this time is for pure harassment, explaining that:

Today they prevented family from coming to my place, on Good Friday.  New South Wales is officially a police state, firmly in the grip of the mining companies. The rights of every day people at Maules Creek are being trumped by the interests of Whitehaven coal.  No one asked us if we wanted to live in a police state next to a coal mine. No one asked us if we wanted to have our groundwater, air quality and health affected.  These people trample over anyone and everyone to make their profits. The state gets its cut and people don’t trust governments anymore. This isn’t a movie, this is real” she said.

After 14 hours locked onto an old car, 75 year old local man, Ray McLaren - who had never been involved in a protest before but who felt he had no choice but to take strong action - was removed by police.

After 14 hours locked onto an old car, 75 year old local man, Ray McLaren – who had never been involved in a protest before but who felt he had no choice but to take strong action – was removed by police.

5 thoughts on “NSW – A Police State?

  1. Good to see that the protesters are at least being treated fairly by the police – and admitting it. Blocking a family from getting to church at Easter seems a bit excessive, but is the road public or is it private? As much as mining can be an invasive and sometimes destructive process that is not always justified, still, many of the products, including health, housing, saftey and transportation products are made from mined raw materials. To call a group “We Are Against Mining (WAAM)” seems to be throwing out the baby with the bathwater. The typical protester will have steel in their vehicles; nickel in their snaps in their coats; platinum, mangnesium, carbon, aluminum, etc, in their cameras and microphones and computers;perhaps stainless in medical devices such as screws holding together a previously shattered leg or in a pace maker, etc. Bottom line is that mining can be good or it can be bad and anyone who says that they are against all mining while they use products that were mined to make their lives better, is hypocritical. Honestly, although I liked the music in the video clip, the content did not show me any cause to agree with WAAM. There were no arguments made, points presented, pictures of abuses, or any other evidence that is material to the argument. Trying to get my empathy or support by showing an upset foreman or a water truck going by or a panel of stakeholders, is not helping their cause. My understanding is that you worked in Public Relations, Jenni. They need your help. Good Luck.

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    • It was more the music at the beginning that caught my eye rather than the rest of the clip. The group at Maules Creek are protesting as when the orginal mine was given permits it was expressly prohibited from expanding and moving into areas that would bring them up against the water table. The new expansion is in direct volition to this and is being backed by new permits from the government.

      Add to that the company prosecuting farmers for allowing protesters to camp on their properties and having regular vehicle checks run by the State Police all aimed at blocking access to the protest site.[the local boys you saw are very polite but the staties not so much]

      The do need some help PR wise but what you have to understand is this isn’t a ‘professional protest’ group this is made up of the local farmers and residents of the surrounding districts and as such they do lack the flash and polish as well as some media savvy but it may actually detract from the point of the protest.

      As for being against mining they need to fix the title as what they are actually against is any NEW mining ventures in Australia which I have to agree with.

      Thanks for taking the time to comment and to read and watch the clip.

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  2. I don’t believe it is ever good for the government to show favoritism to corporate interest over the rights of people to go about their daily life and even to express themselves peacefully, even if with a loud voice. Surely there is something in the worth of our lives that could trump a bit of an uptick in shareholder value or the degradation of the environment. I’ve found that the answer to most complex or difficult questions is at the end of the money trail.

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