AusRAIL, Market Sectors

Coals continue to Newcastle as port defies rail protests

<span class="" id="parent-fieldname-description"> Protests aimed at disrupting coal supply to the Port of Newcastle are unlikely to affect shipping movements, according to the port’s management, despite reports that a 27-year-old man blocked the track to Kooragang Island by tying himself to the railway. </span> <p>Four other people are reported to have locked themselves to key entry points at Maules Creek mine in central-western New South Wales on September 29.<br /><br />There were similar acts of protest at other key mine sites, involving activists concerned about the environmental impact of coal and about the mine-approvals process in New South Wales.<br /><br />A spokesman for Port Waratah Coal Services, which operates the coal terminal at Newcastle, said any impact would be minimal.<br /><br />“We are talking limited or no impact,” he told Rail Express affiliate Lloyd’s List.<br /><br />“People have the right to protest but not in a way that is disruptive or unsafe.”<br /><br />The spokesman said the port had expected some rail stoppages this week, to allow the Australian Rail Track Corp to maintain key lines.<br /><br />The protests appear to have the backing of Greenpeace, which has featured them on its Facebook page.<br /><br />Several months ago, a woman dressed as a gecko prevented 12 coal trains entering Kooragang Island’s terminals.<br /><br />Newcastle is the largest coal terminal in Australia, loading more than 100m tonnes of coal and almost 1200 ships in 2012 and in 2013.<br /><br /><em><strong>This story was originally published in Rail Express international affiliate Lloyd’s List. View the original here: <a href=""></a></strong></em></p>