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Monday, December 20, 2010

Activists opposing coal seam gas appear in Brisbane court

Two activists who unfurled a banner off the roof of the Quennsland Parliament House opposing coal seam gas are to appear in Brisbane Magistrate's Court today (December 20). Dr Bradley Smith (27) and Dhruva Horsfall (21), from Friends of the Earth were able to access the roof and unfurl a banner from the Parliament House facade that said "Don't undermine our farms" to the cheers of Farmers and conservations protesting against new coal mines and Coal Seam Gas expansion.

Smith and Horsfall are both charged with engaging in an unregulated high-risk activity and failure to comply with the direction of the speaker of the house and face up to $6000 in fines or 1 year imprisonment.

Dr Smith plans to plead not-guilty to the high-risk activity charge and stated "Us dropping a banner wasn't a high-risk activity," he said, "the Coal Seam gas industry is a high-risk activity."

"People like us who are concerned about the future of the climate and the future of the Great Artesian Basin need to be fighting this booming fossil-fuel industry. Our future is being stolen from us", Dr. Smith said.

"I know that there are many farmers and rural residents who were right behind us dropping the banner off the roof. I think we were acting in the best interests of the community by raising awareness about this issue and pushing government for a moratorium on coal seam gas until the impacts are understood." he concluded.

The protest in August in Brisbane brought together farmers and conservationists through the streets of Brisbane protesting the expansion of coal mining and coal seam gas extraction to the detriment of water resources in the Great Artesian basin and prime agricultural land.


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