Buyers snap up new homes

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BELMORE and River Heights Estates are brimming with hot property, while Bradfordville and Eastgrove are on the nose.
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That’s the assessment of Goulburn First National real estate agent Paul Edwards.

RP Data last week released a report detailing Australia’s 10 most expensive suburbs according to house price. Mr Edwards did the same – focussing solely on Goulburn.

Homes at Belmore Estate off Marys Mount regularly fetched $30,000 more than similar dwellings across town at Monastery Gardens, he concluded.

Houses at River Heights Estate and near the CBD were also in high demand.

Eastgrove, long riddled by flood and nicknamed ‘Frog’s Hollow’ accordingly, can’t fetch the same prices.

Nor can properties at Bradfordville, seen locally as ‘too far out of town’ and dubbed ‘South Taralga’ by the Baby Boomer generation.

“Eastgrove has a stigma. It’s still called Frog’s Hollow,” Mr Edwards explained.

“At times it can be 10 per cent lower than elsewhere. It’s an area that doesn’t turnover often, which tells us the people who live there are passionate about Eastgrove.

“The Bradfordville area, that stigma comes from housing commission developments. As much as it’s not politically correct to say, it affects house prices.”

Despite the peaks and troughs throughout town, Goulburn’s housing market remains competitive.

The median house price in the city as of August was $310,000, RP Data found.

That’s in stark contrast to Australia’s most expensive suburb, Sydney’s Point Piper.

Homes in the luxury Woollahra area fetch a median price of $5.75 million. Eight of the nation’s 10 most expensive suburbs are in Sydney alone.

Goulburn, conversely, remains one of the most affordable and convenient cities in which to buy a property.

A separate RP Data survey ranked Goulburn the country’s eighth most affordable suburb – a finding which Mayor Geoff Kettle continues to spruik.

“Goulburn Mulwaree is a great place to live,” Cr Kettle told WIN News reporter Lauren Barker last month.

“You can get childcare in Goulburn, rather than being on a waiting list for it like you are in Canberra.

“With our proximity to Sydney and Canberra and with technology, people are able to be in Goulburn and work. They don’t need to be in their office in Canberra five days a week.”

Mr Edwards agrees, predicting house prices would continue to rise, albeit steadily.

“Given that Sydney’s still ticking along, I can see perhaps 10pc growth over the next 18 months,” he explained.

Market experts have long predicted Goulburn real estate would take off given its close proximity to Canberra – the country’s third most expensive city in which to live.

A lack of confidence in the public service sector has stalled treechangers’ minds, Mr Edwards said.

Instead, the majority of out-oftown investors hailed from Sydney.

“Canberra’s come off the boil, probably because of public service job insecurity,” Mr Edwards said.

“Statistically, (in 2008) we had 43 to 45 per cent of our sales were from Canberra. Now we’d be under 15pc.

“Sydney investors, on the other hand, they’re here in mass. Up to 30 plus per cent of buyers are from Sydney.”

City attracts all comers SOME 50 per cent of Goulburn property buyers hail from outside the 2580 postcode, Real Estate sales director Angela Storrier says.

Not wishing to go into detail on specific suburbs, Ms Storrier was adamant property from every corner of Goulburn remained in demand from buyers in Canberra, Sydney, the Southern Highlands and coastal areas.

Young couples, young tradespeople, investors, families and mature age retirees are among those making the affordable move.

“It’s hard to generalise because Goulburn has such a variety,” Ms Storrier said.

“Every area is nice and the different things they offer suit different people. For a long time it was like a well-kept secret, well I think it’s becoming less of a secret now.”

Ms Storrier said Goulburn remains a perfect place to live with its access to medical services, shopping, approachable police, low crime rates and friendly atmosphere.

While train services are also a big pull for the City, it’s an area that needs improvement.

Merino Country Estate off Mary’s Mount Road was noted as an area that has experienced massive growth – with stage one selling out, only three blocks remaining in stage two and 11 presale opportunities for stage three taken up.

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Protests at Whitehaven sites

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Protesters at the Gunnedah Coal Handling and Processing Plant this morning.All Whitehaven Coal north-west NSW open cut mine sites have been targeted by a mass protest today, with a further protest at the Newcastle port site.
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Protesters have their say at a Whitehaven site. Picture: Frontline Action.

Up to 150 people are protesting in six locations calling for an immediate stop to work at Maules Creek Mine and for the NSW government to audit the approval process behind the mine.

Maules Creek, Werris Creek, Tarrwonga and Rocglen mines and the Gunnedah Coal Handling and Preparation Plant have all been targeted by people locking themselves to access points and blocking machinery.

An activist takes a stand as part of a mass #action today at #LeardBlockade: opposition against #[email protected]南京夜网/MS7Eqe6DiW

— FrontLineonCoal (@FLACCoal) September 28, 2014This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Seven days: September 29, 2014

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Seven days: September 29, 2014 Pic by @dwosullivan
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Season puts a spring in step

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SCRIPTWRITERS couldn’t have done a better job says a local potato farmerSCRIPTWRITERS couldn’t have done a better job.
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That’s how Crookwell grazier and potato farmer Kim Weir sums up the last 12 months.

A perfect winter and autumn leave farmers across the district poised to cope with a spring the Department of Primary Industries warns will be hot and dry.

Solid winter rain consolidated a near-record autumn fall and has graziers and growers alike optimistic about the summer ahead.

“It’s been a perfect 12 months,” explained Mr Weir, who runs cattle and sheep and grows potatoes on a 1000-acre property near Crookwell.

“We had a hot, dry summer, nice autumn break and a wet winter.

If you could write a script like this each year, it’d be perfect.”

Those at the NSW Department of Primary Industries aren’t so optimistic. Strong winter frosts wreaked havoc for crop farmers and wine growers in parts, while a sudden change in temperatures has sucked moisture from previously well watered soil.

The Department is warning farmers the state-over to brace themselves for a lean summer.

“Soil moisture across the state is now rapidly declining as the weather warms up,” seasonal conditions coordinator Ian McGowen said.

“All areas need good rainfall in September to provide moisture for grain filling, promote pasture growth, improve soil moisture profiles and to replenish stock water supplies ahead of summer.

“Last month’s rainfall was average or above across 76 per cent of NSW, with good falls across most of western, northern and coastal NSW.

“However, much of southern and central NSW received below average rainfall, and some areas received only patchy falls.”

The Crookwell-Goulburn corridor bucked the rest of the state’s trend, it seems.

Crookwell potato farmer Garry Kadwell is excited about the season ahead.

“January and February were tough, but since the March break it’s been perfect,” he explained.

“If we can get some of those summer storms, that’d be perfect.”

While the outlook seems promising, Mr Kadwell has his work cut out.

“It’s certainly going to be an early spring,” he added.

“We had such good growth at the back end of summer.”

Local wine growers are also positive despite the Bureau of Meteorology’s forecast.

The biggest obstacle standing in the way of Kingsdale Wines owners Howard and Elle Spark is disease, not the elements.

“Our worry’s not so much wet or dry weather at this time of year,” Mrs Spark said.

“Keeping an eye on the early morning temperatures and frosts, and monitoring disease is our priority.”

The couple plan to bring their vines into leaf over the coming months in preparation for next winter’s pickings.

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Wimmera funding to tackle family violence in indigenous communities

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Wimmera projects will share in $650,000 to help tackle family violence in indigenous communities. Picture: FILE PICWIMMERA projects will share in $650,000 in State Government funding to help tackle family violence in indigenous communities.
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Community Services Minister Mary Wooldridge announced the funding on Friday.

“The projects are funded through the 2014-15 Indigenous Family Violence Community Initiative Fund and support the Indigenous Family Violence Strategy, a community-led initiative that aims to prevent, reduce and respond to family violence in Aboriginal communities,” she said.

“I am delighted to announce 38 projects across Victoria will benefit from funding of up to $37,000 for innovative ways to prevent and raise awareness of family violence in the local Indigenous community.”

The Aboriginal Family Violence Prevention and Legal Service Victoria will receive $13,000 for its Sisters Day Out workshop in Horsham.

The workshops support women to be prepared for incidents of family violence by being aware of their rights, knowing points of contact for help and knowing people who can provide ongoing support.

Goolum Goolum Aboriginal Co-operative will receive $10,000 towards the Wimmera DRUMBEAT – Discovering Relationship Using Music, Beliefs, Emotions, Attitudes and Thoughts – program.

The program combines the therapeutic potential of musical expression with basic cognitive behavioural therapy to deliver a range of social learning outcomes, including emotional control, improved relationships and increased self-esteem.

Goolum Goolum will also receive $2075 on behalf of the Indigenous Family Violence Regional Action Group for the VACSAL Junior Football and Netball Carnival.

The Wurega Aboriginal Corporation – which includes Horsham Rural City, Northern Grampians, Hindmarsh, City of Ballarat, Pyrenees, Ararat Rural City, Yarriambiack, West Wimmera, Golden Plains, Hepburn and Moorabool municipalities – has received $5000 for its Strong Families T20 Blast program.

The project will use Aboriginal community engagement principles to focus on the T20 Blast program to prevent Aboriginal family violence from occurring during the summer months.

Ms Wooldridge said people could visit http://www.dpc.vic.gov.au/index.php/aboriginal-affairs/aboriginal-affairs-policy/indigenous-family-violence for more information about the Strong Culture, Strong Peoples, Strong Families: Towards a safer future for Indigenous families and communities 10-year plan.

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Thunder destroy Bulls after “disgraceful” performance

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ON A HIGH: Albury halfback Cameron Breust jumps into the arms of teammate Adam Coote after the Thunder’s grand final romp at Equex Centre yesterday. Pictures: Michael Frogley
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Group Nine

THE inspiration was supremely simple – Albury was not prepared to settle for being second best.

And that’s all it took for the Thunder to turn the Group Nine grand final into a rugby league car wreck at Equex Centre yesterday.

In the most lopsided first grade decider in history, Albury smashed Southcity 45-4 to give outgoing coach Josh Cale the perfect farewell.

Calling it quits after six years in charge, Cale was afforded the luxury of leaving on his own terms as the Thunder ravaged the Bulls by eight tries to one.

Recovering from a second minute hicccup – Southcity was denied a try when referee Bernie Nix ruled Nathan Rose dropped the ball over the line – Albury subsequently meted out 78 minutes of football misery on the woeful Wagga team.

Amid the carnage, the Thunder extended their fabulous premiership streak to three and left the Bulls absolutely devastated.

Only the third team in 60 years to land a Group Nine grand final hat-trick, Albury did it in blistering style by thrashing Southcity by the biggest margin ever – 41 embarrassing points.

Twelve years on from Temora crushing Turvey Park by 40 points (52-12) in the grand final in 2002, Albury turned the blowtorch on the club that was formed after the Lions merged with Magpies in 2005.

A shell of the team that collected the minor premiership in the last week of August, Southcity was battered into submission by the most dominant Group Nine force since Kangaroos won a treble in 1999-2000-2001.

Taking stock of the stunning demolition later, Cale was quickly able to nail down the inspiration for the towering triumph.

“They just wanted it more,” Cale said.

“They were as hungry as the first time.”

Point-blank refusing to hand over their crown they got for the first time in 2012, the Thunder turned around three losses to Southcity in as many previous games this year to make a mockery of the statistics.

For Cale, the victory was a fitting way to end his tenure as coach – and hand over the baton to replacement Ben Jeffery.

“It’s unreal,” Cale said.

“I’m sure Ben will do a great job.

“Most of the crew will be here and I’ll be around somewhere.”

Significantly, Cale described Albury’s last-gasp loss to Southcity in the major semi-final a fortnight earlier as a critical turning point for the border juggernaut.

“Everyone lifted,” he said.

“We were ready for today.

“The boys trained hard and prepared well. They all played their part.”

The truth of the sentiment would certainly not be wasted on the vanquished Wagga team.

On a day when Albury produced an exhilarating performance of superbly slick attack and brutal defence, the Bulls were plainly outclassed across the field.

Little wonder Southcity captain-coach Daniel Fitzhenry later described the effort as “disgraceful”.

“A few calls didn’t go our way, but in the end there are no excuses,” Fitzhenry said.

“How could there be?”

Fitzhenry’s nightmare started the moment Albury playmaker Willie Heta made mincemeat of the Bulls’ defence to set up Ben Jeffery for the first of his two tries in the sixth minute.

The signs were even more ominous when Albury halfback Cameron Breust was able to weave left without any pressure and link with Jake Grace before Jeffery blasted over again nine minutes later.

When Breust chipped brilliantly for winger Daniel Jacobs to leap above Jack Lyons for a try in the 21st minute the clock was ticking on the Bulls.

Up 24-4 at half-time, Albury seemed to have the premiership on toast, but Fitzhenry was hanging on hope.

“I thought we might be able to come back,” Fitzhenry said.

“It didn’t happen.”

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Loss has Fitzhenry rethinking 2015

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BIG SHOES: Albury fullback Ben Jeffery is brought down by Southcity five-eighth Nathan Rose yesterday. Jeffery will take over from Josh Cale as Thunder coach in 2015 .
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THE devastation of losing the Group Nine grand final in a record landslide has Southcity captain-coach Daniel Fitzhenry pondering his playing future.

In the aftermath of the Bulls shattering 41-point hiding from Albury in the Group Nine decider at Equex Centre yesterday, Fitzhenry admitted he needed time to take stock of his career.

“I’m happy to play on, but this will take some getting over,” Fitzhenry said later.

“I’ll see how I feel after I have a bit of a break.”

Already re-signed for 2015, Fitzhenry is 34 years old and clearly at the crossroads of his magnificent playing days.

However, it would be a serious injustice if he did not return to lead the Bulls again in 2015.

Already re-signed for next year, Fitzhenry has the option of leading the team from the bench or on the field, but it would be a waste of his desire and talent to finish up.

Among the carnage of yesterday’s grand final disaster, Fitzhenry was one of the few in the Southcity team to make an impression on a game that was lost long before full-time.

As Fitzhenry fought to the bitter end, others wearing the same colours gave up the ghost after the Thunder blasted on four tries in the first half.

Little wonder he later described he performance as “disgraceful” and said the result as the most disheartening of his four years in Wagga.

However, he was not prepared to give up.

“I thought there was a chance we could turn things around in the second half,” he said.

“It was one of those frustrating days.”

For Fitzhenry, the efforts of some of his players would leave him cold, with precious few troubling the Thunder with or without the ball.

Significantly, dynamic centre Peter Little did not let Fitzhenry down yesterday, but others certainly did.

On a day when the Bulls required a resolute and committed approach, there were some in the team that fell dreadfully short of the mark.

Missed tackles and simple handling errors put the Bulls under the pump at the most critical of times.

With Fitzhenry weighing up his plans, the path is clearly defined for incoming Albury captain-coach Ben Jeffery.

Set to walk into Josh Cale’s position next year, Jeffery admits he there will be “big expectations” for him to carry on the Thunder dynasty.

“People will be thinking about four in a row,” Jeffery said.

For Jeffery, the Thunder will be a work in progress as he step into Cale’s shoes next year as a coaching rookie.

Not only are Lou Goodwin and Mitch Davis leaving, there is a genuine doubt over several other players, notably Willie Heta and Jake Grace and Cameron Breust.

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No Excuses Needed binge drinking initiative to educate youth

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Wimmera Uniting Care supports a No Excuses Needed anti-binge drinking campaign. Picture: FILE PICWIMMERA Uniting Care has welcomed an initiative to reduce young people binge drinking.
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The No Excuses Needed campaign aims to educate young people to make better choices with their drinking habits.

A State Government study of 1400 Victorians aged 16 years and older found many drank as a result of peer pressure or to conform with a group.

Wimmera Uniting Care residential services manager Alistair Houston said alcohol was the cause of a lot of the issues he saw in his work.

“I think it is definitely part of our culture,” he said.

“I guess it’s a bit of a reflection of the society we live in, where it’s kind of appropriate to celebrate a birthday or a wedding – any type of celebration we reach for a glass.

“There was a survey done about how many people rang in sick after Australia Day, and it was about half a million.

“I think there is a peer element to it, without a doubt. I also think there is a fashion element to drinking too.”

Mr Houston said he welcomed any attempt to reduce excessive alcohol consumption.

“There’s long-term effects physically and psychologically when you are dependent on alcohol,” he said.

“There are quite a lot of problems caused through alcohol for a variety of reasons, whether it be poverty, loss of work or sickness.”

However, Mr Houston said it was not all doom and gloom when it came to excessive alcohol consumption.

“I’m really pleased at the approach that has been taken,” he said.

“I think society is changing because people are more aware, and I think that starts in the community.

“The more research and understanding we have, the better chance we have of people changing their behaviour.”

Minister for Mental Health Mary Wooldridge said there was a lot of positive feedback during the development of the campaign.

“Young people consulted during the campaign’s development labelled it refreshing and empowering,” she said.

“Young Victorians need to know that getting drunk isn’t necessarily what others their age are doing.

“They shouldn’t feel like they have to make excuses if they don’t want to keep drinking.”

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Group Nine first grade grand finalPhotos

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Group Nine first grade grand final | Photos First grade. Albury v Southcity. Albury players celebrate their first grade win. Picture: Michael Frogley
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First grade. Albury v Southcity. Captain Lou Goodwin runs onto the field. Picture: Michael Frogley

First grade. Albury v Southcity. Captain Lou Goodwin runs onto the field. Picture: Michael Frogley

First grade. Albury v Southcity. Albury’s Jon Huggett gets through the defence of Southcity’s Nick Skinner for a try. Picture: Michael Frogley

First grade. Albury v Southcity. Albury’s Hayden Sweeney and Southcity’s Peter Little. Picture: Michael Frogley

First grade. Albury v Southcity. Southcity’s Pani Manawatu is denied a try by Albury’s Ben Jeffery. Picture: Michael Frogley

First grade. Albury v Southcity. Southcity’s Pani Manawatu is denied a try by Albury’s Ben Jeffery. Picture: Michael Frogley

First grade. Albury v Southcity. Southcity’s Pani Manawatu is denied a try by Albury’s Ben Jeffery. Picture: Michael Frogley

First grade. Albury v Southcity. Southcity’s Pani Manawatu. Picture: Michael Frogley

First grade. Albury v Southcity. Albury’s Ben Jeffery knocks on and Southcity’s Nathan Rose comes in. Picture: Michael Frogley

First grade. Albury v Southcity. Albury’s Ben Jeffery knocks on and Southcity’s Nathan Rose comes in. Picture: Michael Frogley

First grade. Albury v Southcity. Albury’s Ben Jeffery knocks on and Southcity’s Nathan Rose comes in. Picture: Michael Frogley

First grade. Albury v Southcity. Albury’s Mitch Seaton and Southcity’s Wil Merritt and Jack Lyons. Picture: Michael Frogley

First grade. Albury v Southcity. Albury’s Mitch Seaton and Southcity’s Wil Merritt and Jack Lyons. Picture: Michael Frogley

First grade. Albury v Southcity. Southcity’s Nathan Rose and Albury’s Ben Jeffery. Picture: Michael Frogley

First grade. Albury v Southcity. Albury’s Cameron Breust and Southcity’s Nathan Rose. Picture: Michael Frogley

First grade. Albury v Southcity. Albury’s Cameron Breust and Southcity’s Nathan Rose. Picture: Michael Frogley

First grade. Albury v Southcity. Albury’s Cameron Breust and Southcity’s Nathan Rose. Picture: Michael Frogley

First grade. Albury v Southcity. Southcity’s Scott Bowden and Albury’s Hayden Sweeney. Picture: Michael Frogley

First grade. Albury v Southcity. Albury’s Mitch Davis and Adam Coote tackle Southcity’s Jordan Shepherd. Picture: Michael Frogley

First grade. Albury v Southcity. Albury’s Mitch Davis and Adam Coote tackle Southcity’s Jordan Shepherd. Picture: Michael Frogley

First grade. Albury v Southcity. Albury’s Daniel Jacobs and Southcity’s Wil Merritt. Picture: Michael Frogley

First grade. Albury v Southcity. Albury’s Daniel Jacobs and Southcity’s Wil Merritt. Picture: Michael Frogley

First grade. Albury v Southcity. Albury’s Willie Heta and Southcity’s Peter Little. Picture: Michael Frogley

First grade. Albury v Southcity. Albury’s Willie Heta and Southcity’s Peter Little. Picture: Michael Frogley

First grade. Albury v Southcity. Best on ground, Willie Heta. Picture: Michael Frogley

First grade. Albury v Southcity. Albury’s Cameron Breust jumps into the arms of teammate Adam Coote after their win. Picture: Michael Frogley

First grade. Albury v Southcity. Albury’s Cameron Breust jumps into the arms of teammate Adam Coote after their win. Picture: Michael Frogley

First grade. Albury v Southcity. Albury players celebrate their first grade win. Picture: Michael Frogley

First grade. Albury v Southcity. Albury players celebrate their first grade win. Picture: Michael Frogley

First grade. Albury v Southcity. Elijah Tipene with his son Atama, 1. Picture: Michael Frogley

First grade. Albury v Southcity. Albury captain Lou Goodwin. Picture: Michael Frogley

First grade. Albury v Southcity. Albury captain Lou Goodwin. Picture: Michael Frogley

First grade. Albury v Southcity. Albury captain Lou Goodwin. Picture: Michael Frogley

First grade. Albury v Southcity. Best on ground, Albury’s Willie Heta. Picture: Michael Frogley

First grade. Albury v Southcity. Shelbie Sands and Brad Sargeant. Picture: Michael Frogley

First grade. Albury v Southcity. Kelsie Webb, Mitch Davis and Bernadette Davis. Picture: Michael Frogley

First grade. Albury v Southcity. Jon Huggett and Sam Popko with their son William, eight months. Picture: Michael Frogley

First grade. Albury v Southcity. Albury players celebrate their first grade win. Picture: Michael Frogley

First grade. Albury v Southcity. Albury players celebrate their first grade win. Picture: Michael Frogley

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Protesters shut down North West mining sitesSOCIAL MEDIA BUZZ

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**Scroll down below to view what was said and posted on social media about today’s protests.
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In one of the largest protests of its kind in the region, over 150 people have come out in force this morning across sixlocations to protest Whitehaven Coal’s new Maules Creek coal mine.

They are calling on the NSW government to put an immediate stop to work at the mine and audit the approval process that allowed it to proceed.

Spokesperson for the Leard Forest Alliance, Helen War, said, “There are too many question marks plaguing this development. Dubious federal approvals, corrupt political dealings and blatantly bodged offsets make the Maules Creek project the most spectacular failure of democratic process.”

Every open cut mine owned by Whitehaven Coal in the Gunnedah basinhas been shut down by protesters.Whitehaven’s coal handling plant has also been shut down. Sitesinclude:

Maules Creek coal mine: where 4 people have locked themselves to access points

Werris Creek coal mine: 2 people have scaled the coal loader and have dropped a banner

Tarrawonga coal mine: a person has climbed a tripod structure to block access with 3 more chained across the road

Rocglen Mine: 2 people have chained themselves to the access gate

Gunnedah CHPP: 2 people have chained themselves to the access gate

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