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FRIDAY, OCTOBER 31, 2008
THE BLOG OF THE RAINFOREST ACTION NETWORK

Rising Tide Blockades Australia's largest coal plant

Rising Tide Australia leads the way again. The Australian government won't make even medium greenhouse gas emissions until 2020. That's too late and why Rising Tide began making emissions reductions using direct action instead of government inaction. 29 were arrested. Four locked onto the conveyor belts, everyone else on the coal piles. From their media release.
"Four people have chained themselves to the main conveyor belt at Bayswater power station this morning to stop coal feeding into Australia's largest coal fired power station. They are joined by more than thirty other protestors who are occupying the stations coal stock-piles. Protestors, from climate action group Rising Tide Newcastle, are locked onto machinery, stopping the conveyor belts that carry coal to Bayswater’s furnaces in protest against the Federal Government’s failure to stop Australia’s greenhouse pollution rising. Spokesperson, Georgina Woods, said, “Australia’s greenhouse pollution is still increasing and our addiction to coal-fired power is the main cause. We are here because every day we hesitate, we are killing the Great Barrier Reef.” In 2006/07, Bayswater Power Station created approximately 14 million tonnes of carbon dioxide pollution, making it equal greatest single source of greenhouse pollution in the country and among the top 100 polluting power stations in the world. The Federal Government is expected to announce medium term greenhouse emission reduction targets at the end of the month, but protestors say that 2020 is too late, and want a commitment that 2010 will be Australia’s “peak emissions” year. The Bayswater power station near Muswellbrook in the Upper Hunter and the adjacent Liddell power station together supply around 40% of NSW’s electricity. The protestors say power stations like Bayswater will need to be shut down over the next few years: “Where is the plan to phase out facilities like these? Why are we twiddling our thumbs?” “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.” The fight for the climate is far from over; the need for people to protest our failure to reverse greenhouse pollution is greater than ever."

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