Australia: Coal dust and climate change: Newcastle residents march against proposed T4 coal loader

Stop T4 march, Newcastle, Australia: Photo by Lucy Alcorn / Coal Mine Action GroupStop T4 march, Newcastle, Australia: Photo by Lucy Alcorn / Coal Mine Action GroupUp to 1500 people attended a rally in Newcastle today in opposition to a fourth coal loading terminal being built, nicknamed T4. Gathering at Customs house at 10am, people marched to Civic Park, chanting 'our water, our health, more precious than your wealth' and 'one two three four, no to T4'. Protestors are concerned with the impact of coal mining on agriculture and water resources, coal dust pollution risks to public health, environmental concerns, and contribution to global climate change. Newcastle is the world's largest coal export port.

My favourite photo from the protest (see Photos on Flickr) is a placard saying "The reason you want another coal terminal is that you are fucking Greedy" which perhaps states the obvious...but sometimes the obvious needs to be put in such blunt terms. Already China is indicating it wants to cap it's coal consumption to 4 billion tonnes per year, not much higher than it's current consumption. Much of the recent coal expansion in NSW and Queensland, and the development of other unconventional fossil fuels like CSG, has been driven by the increasing prospect of restrictions placed on fossil fuel extraction due to carbon emissions and the threat of global warming. These companies want to rip as much as they can out to make their profits before community outrage forces them to stop.

(Video) Australia: Newcastle residents protest health effects of proposed 4th coal terminal

Newcastle residents and activists dressed in medical gowns protested the lack of consideration of health and climate change effects in the proposed building of a fourth coal terminal at the port of Newcastle, already the world's largest coal port. A peaceful protest and 'lockon' occurred outside The office of NSW Minister for Planning Brad Hazzard last Thursday who is due to consider the merits of the proposal.

Related: Newcastle’s T4 project puts short-term profit before health | Something in the air: time for independent testing in coal areas | Coal Terminal Action Group

T4 - Newcastle coal terminal protest banner

T4 - Newcastle coal terminal protest banner

T4 - Newcastle coal terminal protest

T4 - Newcastle coal terminal protest

Climate Change activists step up opposition to coal in Hunter Valley protests from mine to port

A banner drop at a construction site for a new coal loader terminal at the Port of Newcastle in the New South Wales Hunter Valley in Australia ended when police instructed the 60 metre crane be lowered to the ground. The Protestors say they were not given warning of this action and alledged it imperiled their lives.

“We are dismayed with the actions of police here today.” said spokesperson Steve Phillips. “We conducted a peaceful protest, with trained and experience climbers, and safety as our priority. NSW Police responded with gross negligence and dereliction of duty, and placed two lives at risk. Our climbers were not even warned before the crane was lowered.”

Related: Australia: Climate activists do Banner drops in Boggabri and Melbourne against coal rush

Rising Tide activists do a crane banner drop at Newcastle coal terminal

Rising Tide activists do a crane banner drop at Newcastle coal terminal

Photo by Rising Tide Australia - taken 6 September 2012

World's largest coal port shutdown

World's largest coal port shutdown

45 climate activists closed down the world's largest coal port for several hours on Sunday 26 September 2010. The three coal loader terminals at Newcastle, 100km north of Sydney on Australia's east coast, were all closed by the activists.

Photo copyright by Conor Ashleigh, Rising Tide Newcastle

Australia: Activists close world's largest coal export port

Climate activists have closed down the three coal export terminals at Newcastle harbour, the world's largest coal export port, stopping all production and loading. "Urgent action against global warming is needed. We have been forced to make our dramatic protest today because the Federal government is failing to take any action." said Anika Dean from Rising Tide Newcastle.

Australia: Climate protest fleet attempts Blockade of World's largest coal port

Newcastle, Sun Mar 28, 2010: Climate activists from Rising Tide blocked entry to the world's largest coal port on Newcastle Harbour, north of Sydney. The 'People's Blockade of the World's Biggest Coal Port' put together a motley protest fleet of 60 rafts, kayaks and boats including a 70 foot yacht. Over 350 people attended the protest according to Greens MLC Lee Rhiannon. Carbon dioxide emissions from coal is a major contributor of climate change. Photos on Flickr | More photos

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