Greenpeace activists face court for blocking BHP Billiton coal train

Press release - 14 August, 2011

SYDNEY, 15 August, 2011: This morning at Muswellbrook Local Court, five Greenpeace activists pleaded guilty to charges related to blocking a BHP Billiton coal train from Mt Arthur coal mine in the Hunter Valley - one of the most polluting mines in the country.

Last year, BHP Billiton had a global turnover of $52 billion and a profit of over $12 billion. In 2009, the company produced almost 13 million tonnes of greenhouse pollution in Australia alone – equivalent to nearly one million households.
The Greenpeace activists were demanding BHP Billiton pay their fair share towards helping Australia develop clean energy for our future.
“BHP Billiton makes billion in profits every year from Australian resources,” said activist Trish Harrup. “A carbon price is loose change to them just 0.6% of annual revenue, but a big deal for a clean future in Australia. Instead of standing up and paying for their pollution, BHP Billiton has been busy pressuring the Government to exempt them from the tax.
Speaking on the carbon price at a 10 August luncheon, BHP Billiton Chairman Jacques Nasser re-iterated his opposition to a carbon price stating, “there is a huge downside… I’d slow it down.”
“By ‘go-slow’ BHP Billiton means ‘no,’” said Harrup. “Scare-mongering about the threat of a carbon price while simultaneously planning a $48 billion expansion of iron ore operations in the Pilbara – one of the biggest resources projects in Australian history – is preposterous. It’s time for BHP to pay their fair share.”
Four Greenpeace activists faced charges of trespass, while a fifth faced additional charges of obstructing a locomotive and going across running lines.
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For more information, contact:
Julie Macken in Muswellbrook 0400 925 217
James Lorenz in Sydney 0400 376 021