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Detained for taking photos of Brisbane coal piles

Brisbane coal piles

Four Queensland Greens members were detained at the Port of Brisbane at the weekend and told to delete photographs of themselves in front of coal piles.

A photo still exists (see left). From left to right: Greens Members: John Heussler, Dave Nelson and Joanne Bragg.

The group had been collecting complaints from nearby residents and businesses about the impacts of coal dust from uncovered train wagons, trucks and piles.

“The Greens are trying to help people deal with the serious health problem of breathing in coal dust and getting rid of it from their houses and businesses,” Mr Nelson said.

“When we saw the huge pile of uncovered coal at the terminal we decided to take a few snaps to highlight how poorly coal is stored near our suburbs. We did not see any signs that we were in a restricted area or that photographs were forbidden,” he said.

“In a matter of minutes port security guards swooped down on us and detained us until we had agreed to delete the photos. While polite, one of them said, ‘We don’t want a bunch of Greenies posting pictures on the internet’.

“Maybe their bosses are afraid that people might realise the huge and increasing number of uncovered coal deliveries are thundering through our cities and towns by road and rail.”

“With well-documented effects of coal dust, you would expect the port authority to be lot more transparent about how they store and transport coal to the port and how much coal dust is blown onto the neighbouring suburbs.

“Estimates this year alone put coal exports out of the Port of Brisbane at 10 billion tonnes. Common sense tells us that this would generate lots more coal dust.”

The Queensland Greens urge residents to contact them with their complaints on how living next to a coal highway is affecting their lives. Email: .

The Australian Greens health spokesperson, Richard Di Natale initiated a Senate Inquiry on air quality, focusing on the impacts of coal. For more information on the inquiry please visit: http://greensmps.org.au/airquality. Submissions close on Friday, March 8th.

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