“This is a great day for Queensland, and a great outcome for the environment” said Derec Davies from Friends of the Earth.
On the 9 Nov 2011 environmental activist Derec Davies boarded and stopped the controversial dredging in Gladstone Harbour. Gaining national media attention and connecting dredging impacts to the Great Barrier Reef and the activities of Queensland's coal and coal seam gas industry.
Today Mr Davies appeared in the Brisbane magistrates court to fight the Gladstone Port Corporation's $35,000 damages claim.
Magistrate Herlihy stated “The courts are not in the business of closing down genuine protests.” He then went on the discuss the merits of Gandhi, and noted the “dead fish in Gladstone”, and associated discussion around coal seam gas protest in the Senic Rim Region of Queensland.
Australia's coal and coal seam gas development bubble has placed unprecedented pressure on the Great Barrier Reef.
“Minister Darling and Premier Bligh know the recent Gladstone Fish Health report and on-going community outcry is a huge embarrassment and challenge for their leadership. With pressure from the UN World Heritage Committee to stop the dredging in Gladstone, and now the Queensland courts, when will Minister Darling face the people of Gladstone and hear their calls”.
“The risk to the Great Barrier Reef from 34 new coal mines, 4 coal seam gas ports is far to high. Queensland is fueling global climate change with our coal and gas exports. Our government should not destroy our reef for the profits and the energy needs of other countries”.
“Communities across the state are fighting back”, said Davies
The UN World Heritage Committee visit is scheduled for March 2012, the outcome of today's court paves the way for legitimate protest to continue”, said Derec Davies of Friend of the Earth.
Derec Davies, Friends of the Earth mob 0421 835 587