Freya Nolin, a 21 year old from Fremantle WA was charged with a $10,000 environmental fine in April in the Bowen Magistrate’s court. It is because she blocked coal trains from entering Adani’s Abbot Point in March. The action took place as part of a week long event, ‘Shut Down Adani’, where Whitsunday locals and people from all over Australia came together to demand the Adani Carmichael mine be scrapped.
Nolin was the last in a string of 5 activists who commanded a stand still of all movement along the Newlands rail corridor for 75 hours straight. Two people were also charged with attempting to enter Abbot Point port. The action resulted in the closure of port operations for 4 hours. “We need to be taking urgent action to address the current climate crises. The current political system is totally at odds with the scientific community, who are calling for a rapid transition away from fossil fuels.”
Jessa Millicent, a Whitsunday resident and mother of two supports Nolin’s action and others like her who are standing up for their community. “We need more young people standing up to take action. It’s obvious its not going to come from those at the top. It’s gotta come from us, those on the ground who are already starting to feel the impacts of climate change.”
A recent study by the Australia Institute has stated; “Increasing extreme heat will have profound impacts on people, industries and ecosystems in the Whitsundays. CSIRO and Bureau of Meteorology projections estimate that the average number of days over 35 degrees each year could increase fourfold by 2030 and reach over 87 days per year by 2090 without strong climate policies. Hot nights above 25 degrees are projected to rise from an average of 18 per year up to 177 per year by 2090 (HeatWatch – Whitsundays 2019).
“We’re experiencing some of the highest fines in Australia’s history of non violent direct action. We are prepared to take on these repercussions because we know urgent action is needed, and what is money worth at the end of the day, if you don’t have a planet to live on. The imbalance of justice is however strikingly clear when you consider the recent fines Adani has been dealt for their continued pollution breaches from their Port is less than $2000 more than what I have received.” Nolin said. Earlier this year Adani was fined $13,000 for releasing polluted water into the Cally Valley wetlands. in 2017 Adani was fined $12,000 for releasing polluted water into the ocean adjacent to Abbot Point.