Bulga to Brisbane update: Thanks and final preparations

After an incredible response to our crowdfunding campaign, Bulga residents Aneemaree and Rob McLaughlin and Judith Leslie are now preparing to take their fight up to Rio Tinto at the company’s annual general meeting (AGM) in Brisbane on Thursday.

The crowdfunding campaign has less than a day remaining, and any further contributions will go towards the Bulga Milbrodale Progress Association and supporting our shareholder activism work – click here to lend your support! For those who have already contributed, Annemaree, Rob and Leslie have shared this video saying thank you and explaining just how much the opportunity to attend Rio Tinto’s AGM means to them.

The people of Bulga, a historic town in NSW’s Hunter Valley, have been fighting Rio Tinto’s plans to expand the Mt Thorley Warkworth coal mine for six years, having already been subjected to unbearable levels of noise, dust and pollution caused by the mine in its current form.

Rob, Annemaree, and Judith are members of the Bulga Milbrodale Progress Association which has been the voice of the community for over 30 years. In 2013 the group successfully stopped the expansion of the Mt Thorley Warkworth mine via a court challenge, only to have the legislation changed, allowing the plans to be resubmitted and rubber-stamped late last year.

“The NSW Government has left us high and dry,” said Annemaree McLaughlin. “So this week we’re taking the battle to Brisbane to make it plain to the Rio Tinto management, board and shareholders what a horror story this mine is for local residents.”

“Although Bulga is a beautiful village it is being wrecked by mining,” said Robert McLaughlin. “Our homes and properties are now worthless, we can’t drink our water without first having to filter out coal dust and we can’t sleep at night for the noise of this mine that operates 24/7 all year round.

“Shareholders need to know what Rio Tinto is doing to our town, its people and their environment.”

Rob, Annemaree and Leslie now have a great opportunity to speak directly with the Rio Tinto board in front of company shareholders at Thursday’s AGM. This is the first chance Bulga residents will have to ask questions of Rio Tinto directly and put its board on the spot over the damage and destruction their mine has already caused, and the devastating impact the expansion would have on the community.

Thank you to the following contributors for making Annemaree, Rob and Leslie’s trip to the Rio Tinto AGM possible:

  • Mark Singer
  • Alana West
  • Gill Burrows
  • Mia Trujillo
  • Liz Basset
  • Gai Anderson
  • Julie French
  • Kat Lavers
  • Graham Hill
  • Claire Bettington
  • Paul Isbel
  • Julien Vincent
  • John Bell
  • Dale Curtis
  • Aruna Manandhar
  • Linda Wilson
  • John Carroll
  • Mark Zanker
  • Judith Gamper
  • Don Owers
  • Michael Bull
  • Frances Warren
  • Felicity Cahill
  • George Mercier
  • Helen Redmond
  • Richard Hunstead
  • Vivien Holmes
  • Daniel Jones
  • Kirsty Bishop-Fox
  • Ruth Haig
  • Robyn Venardos
  • Adrian Bury
  • Antony Bainton
  • Andy Birtchnell
  • Richard Owens
  • Greg Doepel
  • Peter Sainsury
  • Clare Maclean
  • Caroline Alcorso
  • Colin Jones
  • George Dionyssopoulos
  • Ruth Howard
  • Leonie Stubbs
  • Jan & Keith Roberts
  • Bernard Lagan
  • Laura Williamson
  • Suzie Gold
  • David Gibson
  • Tom Livanos
  • Brigid Dowsett
  • Adrian Garton
  • Kylie Hitchman
  • Bob Scobie