Statement by QRC Chief Executive Ian Macfarlane - Protests

24 January 2018

The Queensland Resources Council (QRC) has expressed its grave concerns for people’s safety as result of ongoing protests by extreme activists in the state’s north.

Today’s incident where an activist suspended herself in a tree near an Aurizon rail line put that young woman’s life at risk and threatened the well-being of the train crew if the rope was triggered by a passing train and the woman fell to her death.

A fully loaded train weighs more than a battleship, is over a kilometre long and takes two kilometres to stop. A simple mistake by these protesters as to the proximity of the next coal train would have resulted in the protestor’s death and significant psychological stress for the train crew involved.

All Queenslanders have the right to protest, but all Queensland workers also have the right to go to work and come home safely to their families.

This reckless trespassing with the intention to disrupt other people’s lives is dangerous and extreme.

Along with risking lives, these activists are also engaged in deliberate economic vandalism of the state’s economy. Every day this rail line is blocked, Queenslander’s lose $10 million in export revenue and around $1 million dollars in royalties – royalties which pay for the roads, schools, hospitals and police stations that benefits every Queenslander.

The QRC echoes the call of the Queensland Police for everyone to obey the law and not to put people’s lives in danger. These protests are deliberately making it difficult for police to do their job.

Media contact: Anthony Donaghy 0412 450 360