North QLD locals halt work at Adani’s coal port in Bowen

Jeanette Kemp, an ecologist from Townsville and Rupert Russell, an 81-year-old naturalist from Mount Molloy, near Cairns, are stopping work this morning at Adani’s Abbott Point Port in Bowen by attaching themselves to coal loading infrastructure.

Both Kemp and Russell walked into the site this morning at 7:15am, safely attaching themselves to the coal loading infrastructure — effectively stopping the coal conveyor belts from operating. These painted steel pipes read ‘People Power,’ referring to their messaging of wanting more people to take part in direct action to stop destructive industries from polluting the planet.

Kemp, who has worked around the area where the Adani Carmichael mine is being built says, “I know a fair bit of that country where the mine is and got to know the vegetation through my work as an ecologist. It’s just crazy to me that we’re going to dig up this whole area. There are too many mines that are damaging our land, and I just don’t want to see Queensland go that way”.

Russell, a retiree, urged others to take action like him by saying, “I’m in a very lucky position: I don’t have to worry about my job so I have the time to do this. It’s only by having enough people taking the time to commit to this kind of action that the message of ‘the people don’t want coal to continue’ can be heard”.

In response to locking on to the coal port, Kemp says, “Taking part in an action like this does get me a little worried about what that means for my job, but in some way, it shows how important it is: that I’m willing to risk my reputation and those sorts of things. It just shows people that anyone can do this, just take time off work — it all contributes and makes people stand up and notice”.

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