Leard State Forest activists ignore the law and put lives at risk

March 31, 2014

“Activists in the Leard State Forest are recklessly choosing to place themselves, site workers, and emergency services personnel at risk simply to make a political statement,” NSW Minerals Council CEO, Stephen Galilee said today.

Mr Galilee made the comments in response to today's events at the Maules Creek project where a group of anti-mining activists have chosen to trespass and illegally interfere with construction equipment at a legally approved mine site, forcing emergency services personnel to attend.

“This project has been extensively assessed and received all state and federal legal approvals. Construction is proceeding well and the project will be completed, regardless of the actions of the activists who are unnecessarily putting themselves and others at risk.”

"Everyone has the right to protest, but it should be done according to the laws that keep people safe and protect the property of others.  Construction sites are potentially very dangerous places for trespassers. These reckless actions must stop before someone gets killed," Mr Galilee said.

Mr Galilee has also questioned the claim by activists who indulge in illegal activity that they do so to judge the ‘social licence’ of others operating within the law.

“What right do protesters who choose to commit dangerous illegal acts have to judge the social licence of others?” Mr Galilee said.

"While the rest of us are prepared to abide by the law, a small group of radical activists have decided they are above the law," Mr Galilee said.

"These activists want to sit in judgement over the rest of society but are not prepared to play by the rules that apply to the rest of us."

"If you choose to ignore the laws and norms of society that apply to everyone else, then you also forfeit your right to judge the social licence of others, particularly those operating within the law and by the rules," he said.

Contact: Chris Rath | crath@nswmining.com.au | 0409 758 734 | 02 9274 1419

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