Escalation Of Protest Action Promised
Media Release: Save Happy Valley Coalition
Thursday, 21st December 2005
For immediate use
ESCALATION OF PROTEST ACTION PROMISED AFTER HAPPY VALLEY COURT RULING
The Save Happy Valley Coalition is planning an escalation of action to stop the Happy Valley mine in response to today's High Court ruling against a Forest and Bird appeal.
Happy Valley, 25km north-east of Westport, is the proposed site of Solid Energy's controversial opencast coal mine.
Save Happy Valley Coalition spokesperson Francie Mountier said that the campaign has already held protest action against the mine, escalating from creative demonstrations at Solid Energy's headquarters to several occupations in the valley and more recently to the blockading of Solid Energy coal trains.
"The proposed mine’s 256ha footprint will destroy the valley’s rare ecosystem including the habitat of eleven threatened species and will produce twelve million tones of climate changing carbon dioxide,” she said.
"The coal from the mine will be entirely for export and there will be no net increase in employment on the West Coast."
“With the legal avenue exhausted, it is now up to individuals to take responsibility to physically stop the destruction of the home of the great spotted kiwi and the rare Powelliphanta ‘patrickensis’ land snail and to slow the onset of climate chaos.
“While Solid Energy profits from the climate-changing coal mine, everyday New Zealanders will pay the true human cost of rising global temperatures and the increasing frequency and intensity of catastrophic weather events.
“And the go-ahead couldn’t have been given at a worse time. International scientists warn that climate chaos is rapidly increasing and the United Nation’s Environmental Program recently announced that severe weather around the world this year has made 2005 the most costly year on record.
"The Save Happy Valley Coalitions future direction will be an intensification of our protest actions thus far. We are calling on people to put pressure on the Government and to join us in occupying the Valley from January 28th to stop this mine from proceeding," Mountier concluded.