Former Wallabies Captain David Pocock Chains Himself To Digger
Wallaby flanker David Pocock has been arrested after chaining himself to a digger to protest a controversial coal mine in northwest NSW, according to activists
Former Wallabies captain David Pocock gets arrested after a protest against a controversial coal mine in northwest NSW
Wallaby flanker David Pocock has been arrested after chaining himself to a digger to protest a controversial coal mine in northwest NSW, according to activists.
The injured former captain was chained to the digger with seven others, part of a group of 30 protesters who have converged on the Maules Creek coal mine in the Leard Forest, joining a long running blockade at the site.
After 10 hours occupying the super digger, Mr Pocock and farmer Rick Laird have been arrested and taken into custody by Narrabri police, the Leard Forest Alliance said in a statement.
Both Pocock and his wife Emma had joined the Leard Blockade, which is a long-running group who are protesting against the the construction of an open-cut coal mine right in the middle of the national park.
ACT Brumbies player Pocock, has not played with the Wallabies team in the last two years, after he was sidelined with a massive knee injury.
It is reported that he is hoping to make his comeback in 2015.
Nine hours ago, the player took to his Twitter account to post a photo of his arm literally locked in to a pipe, aboard a mining digger.
'Locked on selfie with 5th generation farmer, @Ricklaird14, protesting Whitehaven's new coalmine in Leard State Forest,' he said, posting a picture showing him grinning widely.
The young rugby star updated his account seven hours ago, letting followers know that he was still chained to the digger.
Still locked-on to this superdigger with @Ricklaird14. Amazing man standing up for his farming community..#savetheleard #directaction,' his post said.
It has been claimed that Australia's carbon emission will go up by nearly 10 per cent should the Whitehaven-owned mine go ahed.
This is due to the fact that more than 4,000 hectares of forest would be cleared to make way for the mine.
Each year, 13 million tonnes of coal will be taken from the ground and transported to Newcastle for export.
According to 350.org, this cycle will continue for the next 30 years.
Pocock's wife Emma also live tweeted her protest at the mine site.
She tweeted that she had been arrested six hours ago and posted a photo of her riding in a 'paddywagon' with her campaigning pal.
'Hey guys, I'm tweeting while under arrest. That's weird, right?,' her Twitter post said.
She also tweeted that the protest was in it's eighth hour over two hours ago.
Pocock has not tweeted since he posted a picture of campaign manager Rick Laird speaking to the media three hours ago.
Laird has been protesting against the mine for the past 4 years.
Speaking to the ABC, the young player said he hoped his presence at the protest would spike the interest in the younger generation in the environment.
'This mine is about so much more than climate change,' he said.
'This is something that's beginning to impact the community, and will have far greater impacts in the future in terms of the water table, the health implications of living next to a coal mine.
'I would be doing this regardless of what career I had.' he said.
In October, Whitehaven was given the go ahead to clear land at the site for two-and-a-half months each year under a new government plan.
However, they have put a halt to their plans after locals and environmentalists voiced their concerns about the company moving into the park.
Two people were arrested in May for protesting at the site.
Campaigners are demanding answers from the government as to how the mining company was granted permission to set up in the national park.
A number of activists have camped out by themselves for two years to prevent bulldozers from entering the forest.