We pledge to stop the proposed Anvil Hill mine
This story originally appreared on the Climate Independent Media site. Several members of Rising Tide Newcastle attended the Anvil Hill Action Camp and the event described below.
Friday 6th October, Muswellbrook: People from five states today delivered a pledge to the office of Centennial coal to “take whatever action necessary” to stop the proposed Anvil Coal Mine. Today is the closing day of public submissions for the controversial coal mine proposal, that has attracted international criticism for it’s climate change impacts.
“This mine should be illegal on the basis of it’s climate impacts alone”, said Sophie Cooke from the newly formed group ‘Anvil Hill Action’ – part of the wider Anvil Hill Alliance. “If approved it will produce over ten million tonnes of coal each year, emitting over 26 million tonnes of CO2 – equivalent to the emissions of the entire NSW transport sector.”
The international scientific community are becoming increasingly dire in their warnings that we have as little as 10 years to radically reduce CO2 emissions in order to avoid catastrophic climate change. “The inconvenient truth is that coal is Australia’s biggest cause of greenhouse pollution. It is criminally insane for the NSW and Federal Governments to be approving a 10 year expansion of the coal industry at a time when it should start closing it down. We’re drawing the line at Anvil Hill, “Ms Cooke continued.
There is a strong and growing chorus of local opposition to the proposed Anvil Hill mine by a wide range of communities who will be affected. Local councils, residents, vineyards, tourism operators, horse breeders and coal miners have all opposed the proposal on the basis of negative impacts such as noise, dust, massive water use and destruction of nationally significant ecosystems.
Anvil Hill Action acknowledges that Anvil Hill is Aboriginal land. “This is the land of the Wanarua people”, said Paul Spencer for the group. "Neither the NSW Government nor Centennial Coal have the right to mine this land.”
Today’s symbolic protest is part of a 5 day “Anvil Hill Action Camp” being held on a property near the mine site. Participants have been learning about the links between Hunter Valley coal and climate change, with a strong focus on training in civil disobedience and non-violent direct action, including blockading techniques.
“If the government makes the mistake of approving this mine, we’ll be forced to stop it by other means,” Mr Spencer continued. “We’re calling on Premier Morris Iemma to start taking serious action on climate change, to reject the Anvil Hill coal mine proposal and to invest in an urgent transition for the Hunter economy away from coal dependence and towards clean energy.