Protesters block way to base camp

Protesters Peter Kuestler (left) and Ronald Brouwer join the blockade outside Saxon Energy’s Toowoomba site yesterday.
Protesters Peter Kuestler (left) and Ronald Brouwer join the blockade outside Saxon Energy’s Toowoomba site yesterday. Kevin Farmer

LOCK the Gate Alliance protesters have formed a blockade at the entrance to Saxon Energy's Toowoomba base camp, saying they will stay as long as it takes the mining company to halt its current training program.

More than 20 protesters began their campaign against the mining giant yesterday, locking off the front gate to the company's base camp on Toowoomba-Cecil Plains Rd, west of Toowoomba.

The site is where demountable buildings are erected before being transported to mining sites and used as accommodation and amenities buildings.

It is also the site where a drilling rig has been constructed to train hundreds of new drilling staff before they head to the rigs.

Lock the Gate president Drew Hutton said his group of protesters would actively blockade the site at least until the election this Saturday.

"This drilling rig is going to be a very important piece of machinery for a lot of mining companies in the Surat Basin in the future," he said.

He said the potential jobs the training program could offer were insignificant when compared to the damage the mining industry would have on precious farming land.

"A few jobs in mining are nothing in the long term considering the impact this industry will have on the future of our farming land.

"We have people here on the blockade who are willing to commit civil disobedience and be arrested for this cause."

Saxon Energy declined to comment on the matter.


Topics:  farmers lock the gate alliance mining industry toowoomba

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