Koala rescuers and carers from the ‘Koala Belt’ north of Brisbane joined other locals blockading a Downer asphalt plant for 5 hours yesterday. After locking up 10 Downer industrial premises last week, this action escalated the ongoing Galilee Blockade campaign demanding Downer Group cancel their $2.6bn contract to build Adani’s Carmichael coal mine.
Locals had been regularly scoping the asphalt plant so arrived at a peak time, ensuring trucks couldn’t enter or leave. They engaged with truck drivers and other staff, with varying success.
Police were called a couple times but locals risked arrest by refusing to leave the blockade line. Toilet stops, mandarins, pizza and good company kept them sustained and strong. Despite locals regularly trespassing on the site, Downer avoided arrests with the TV cameras hovering.
Downer gave up work for the day, turning trucks away and turning machinery off. What better way to signal out promise to return than trespass on site and plant a Stop Adani sign on a gravel mound!
Local wildlife carer and rescuer on the blockade, Anika Lehmann, said that Koalas are one of only ten species worldwide recognised by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature as highly vulnerable to climate change.
“Adani’s mega-mine threatens the Reef but also our local Koalas. Climate change damages eucalypt leaves and our more extreme bushfires and drought could be the final nail in the coffin for Koalas. They will die of thirst! Rescuing Koalas is not enough. We have to stop Adani.”
Galilee Blockade will continue to target Downer Group with massive civil resistance around the country until they get out of bed with Adani. Downer do not need this Adani contract and can pull out now without financial penalty.
Australians stood strong to protect the Daintree Rainforest, the Franklin River and Fraser Island, including getting arrested. We will stand together to protect Aboriginal homelands, the Great Barrier Reef, the Great Artesian Basin and a liveable planet for our kids and grandkids.