Sunday, November 2, 2008

29 arrests at Bayswater power station

Around thirty protesters from climate action group Rising Tide walked onto the site of the Bayswater power station yesterday, preventing the delivery of coal to the station for six hours.

Bayswater power station is New South Wales' equal biggest source of greenhouse gas emissions, along with Eraring power station.

29 people were arrested on the coal piles while four were arrested inside the power station. The group inside had chained themselves to both conveyors with a lock-on pipe and had to be cut off.

Spokesperson for the group, Georgina Woods said that Australia's greenhouse gas emissions were continuing to increase as a result of Australia's dependence on coal-fired power, leading to the slow death of the Great Barrier Reef.

“Where is the plan to phase out facilities like these? Why are we twiddling our thumbs?” Ms Wood asked.

“The nation and the world are watching and we will not get another chance. The people that are here today are parents and grandparents, professionals and tradespeople. We are demanding a commitment from the Government today: Australia’s greenhouse emissions must start dropping from 2010, we must do whatever it takes to save the Barrier Reef from wipe-out and the world from devastating runaway climate change.”

Workers onsite reacted in an overall positive manner to the protest, with some taking photographs and thanking the activists.

The large group had offered to leave the site without fuss once they had made their point, but police insisted upon processing all of them for trespass. A recent report has suggested that the effects of climate change will lead to an increase in crimes such as carbon accounting fraud and domestic violence, tying up resources for police.

The group inside have been charged with both entering enclosed lands and refusing to leave enclosed lands.

Ms. Woods said that more and more people would take action if the Government continued to allow greenhouse gas emissions to increase.
Photos by Conor Ashleigh (top) and Damien Baker (bottom)

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