Rainbow Warrior welcomed to Newcastle port: Proposed coal terminal attracts international attention

Residents and community group will welcome the Rainbow Warrior to Newcastle this Tuesday morning. Community opposition to the proposed terminal has brought together an extraordinary alliance of community and industry groups. During their Newcastle visit, Greenpeace campaigners will meet with bird observers and experts, horse breeders and vignerons, urban residents living with coal dust and rural community members displaced by coal mines.

Residents and community group will welcome the Rainbow Warrior to Newcastle this Tuesday morning.

 

Community opposition to the proposed terminal has brought together an extraordinary alliance of community and industry groups. During their Newcastle visit, Greenpeace campaigners will meet with bird observers and experts, horse breeders and vignerons, urban residents living with coal dust and rural community members displaced by coal mines.

“The proposed coal terminal will have international impacts and warrants the attention of international organisations such as Greenpeace,” said Hunter Community Environment Centre spokesperson John Mackenzie. “If built, T4 will add to the pressure on threatened and endangered species and contribute significantly to climate change.”

On Wednesday morning, local residents will take Greenpeace campaigners and journalists for a guided tour of Kooragang Island where T4 would be built. Much of the island is internationally recognised as a Ramsar wetland. On Thursday, representatives of Hunter Valley communities and industries will brief the Greenpeace team on board the Rainbow Warrior.

By replacing hundreds of hectares of coastal floodplain with a coal stockpile, T4 will displace a significant population of Green and Golden Bell frogs, a previously common species which is now listed as endangered in NSW and vulnerable nationally. The T4 site is part of the east coast flight path for migratory birds including the Australasian Bittern which is internationally listed as critically endangered.

“Kooragang provides habitat for forty-five of the sixty-six bird species listed under international agreements,” said Dr Mackenzie. “Allowing a coal terminal to destroy this habitat would signify a broken promise on Australia’s part, and risk portraying us as environmental vandals.”

The Rainbow Warrior is visiting locations along Australia’s East coast where new coal terminals have been proposed. The ship is on its way north to visit Queensland ports and coastal communities. Newcastle already has three coal terminals, with a combined export capacity of 120 million tonnes per annum (Mtpa). A proposed fourth terminal (T4) would increase the capacity to 330 Mtpa.

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