21 April 2016
Meet Rob and Annemaree McLaughlin. They’re from Bulga, a small town in the Hunter Valley that has for years had to live with Rio Tinto’s massive Mt Thorley Warkworth coal mine. Despite all we know about the damage coal is causing to the environment, climate and health, Rio wants to expand the mine at the expense of Bulga, its residents and neighbouring endagered woodlands.
The community has been resisting Rio Tinto’s attempts to expand this giant coal mine for years and so far, the residents have held their ground. Now we’ve got a chance to do something simple that would mean a huge amount for their campaign.
We want to send Rob and Annemaree up to Brisbane for Rio’s AGM on the 5th of May so they can take their campaign directly to Rio Tinto’s board and shareholders. Can you chip in $30 to help us get them there?
Mt Thorley Warkworth is massive – already producing 12 million tonnes of coal per year. Just a couple of kilometres from Bulga, residents live with polluted air and noise from mining operations. This mine is so close that the NSW Planning Assessment Commission flagged moving the town to accommodate its expansion!
In 2013 Bulga’s residents took Rio Tinto to court and won. They won again in 2014 when Rio Tinto and the NSW Government appealed. In the meantime though, the NSW Government changed the law so that Rio Tinto’s proposal could still get approval, despite the courts’ decisions.
And through all this the Bulga community keeps fighting.
Coal is clearly in our past, not our future. We thought Rio Tinto knew this as well after they spent the best part of the last two years selling off many of their own coal assets. It is unfair that an historic town like Bulga, its locals and an endagered ecosystem be put at risk from an industry in its twilight years.
Please help to get these local heroes up to the Brisbane AGM of Rio Tinto – it’s about time the board and shareholders heard directly from the people whose lives will be so harshly affected by the proposed Mt Thorley Warkworth mine expansion.
Your donation will only be processed if we hit our goal and will go towards getting Rob, Annemaree and another Bulga resident – Judith – to Brisbane for the Rio Tinto AGM and home again. If we raise more than our goal, we have agreed to split any extra funds between the local campaign to protect Bulga and Market Forces, so we can keep helping other communities confront the companies that are risking their – and our – future with more fossil fuels.