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23rd of October 2018

Australia News



Hunter coal train driver yells abuse at protester who boarded his train

The driver then turned his rage at another protester who had earlier stood in front of his moving train.

"I could have run [him] over. Where’s his brains?"

Mr Weekes told his audience, "people obviously just don't understand, they feel like they have to protect their jobs", adding that he wants the government to help workers transition into jobs in sustainable energy industries.

Former coal miner Micah Weekes copped an earful after he illegally boarded a coal train to stop it from leaving Newcastle.

Former coal miner Micah Weekes copped an earful after he illegally boarded a coal train to stop it from leaving Newcastle.Credit:Facebook/Micah Weekes

A former coal miner, Mr Weekes, boarded the train at 6am at the Sandgate bridge in Newcastle and, as a result, stopped trains heading towards the world’s largest coal export port.

From on top of the engine he told his Facebook audience that he was concerned about negative health impacts associated with the coal industry.

"You don't have to work in the industry to get sick from this," he said.

"My kids are gonna get sick. It’s already happening. People in my community have recurring illnesses, respiratory issues, cancer, tumours."

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Police officers from Newcastle City, with assistance from Police Rescue, arrested the 38-year-old a short time later.

He was taken to Waratah police station where he was charged with enter inclosed lands without lawful excuse, cause/attempt to cause train in motion to be stopped, and cause obstruction to railway locomotive or rolling stock.

A spokesman for the locomotive’s owner, Genesee & Wyoming Australia, said safety was a major priority for the company.

"It is most concerning to see protesters taking such actions that could pose possible safety issues for our people and the public alike," the spokesman said.

It was the sixth arrest of an anti-coal protester in the past fortnight.

About 500 anti-coal protesters are camping on an undisclosed Lower Hunter property as part of a five day Frontline Action on Coal and Newcastle Justice Uprising training and networking event.

Newcastle Herald

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