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Adani disrupted as 75-year-old ‘locks on’ to headquarters


8 February 2020 at 12:00 pm
Maggie Coggan
“It’s the one thing I can do to try and save the world.”


Maggie Coggan | 8 February 2020 at 12:00 pm


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Adani disrupted as 75-year-old ‘locks on’ to headquarters
8 February 2020 at 12:00 pm

“It’s the one thing I can do to try and save the world.”

Barb Neilson is living proof that age is no barrier to getting in the way of one of Australia’s most controversial mining projects, the Adani’s Carmichael coal mine. 

The 75-year-old was removed from Adani’s Townsville headquarters on Tuesday, after she locked onto the outside of the premises in protest of the mine and the Queensland government’s support for the project. 

Locking on is a non-violent technique used by protestors that makes it harder to be removed, causing disruption. 

Neilson was joined by her husband Richard, Frontline Action on Coal activists and members of Stop Adani Townsville and Stop Adani Magnetic Island groups. 

An Adani Mining spokesperson said in a statement that police responded quickly to the protest and there was no disruption to work. 

“While everyone is entitled to voice their opinion, we encourage people to do so safely, legally and without putting people in harm’s way,” the spokesperson said.

Neilson told Pro Bono News she had been involved in protests, but this was the first time she had been involved in a “lock-on”. 

“It was different, but I wasn’t worried at all,” Neilson said.

“It’s the one thing I can do to try and save the world from what I think is coming.” 

She said she wanted to make it clear to Adani that a new coal mine was not the answer. 

“I know that new coal is the last thing the world needs. I want to make my case clearly and directly and so have brought it to the front door of Adani’s headquarters in Queensland,” she said. 

The project was given the go-ahead by the Queensland state government in June 2019. The mine will open up the Galilee Basin, one of the world’s largest untapped reserves of thermal coal. 

Protests against the mine have continued, and for Neilson that means not stopping anytime soon. 

“I just have to do what I can, which is limited, but sometimes my white hair and my very short stature is useful,” she said. 


Maggie Coggan  |  Journalist  |  @MaggieCoggan

Maggie Coggan is a journalist at Pro Bono News covering the social sector.

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