ACT News

Fossil fuel protesters arrested at Minerals Council office in Forrest

Police arrested 10 climate change activists who refused to leave the Minerals Council office in Forrest on Tuesday morning.

The protesters were part of a 15-strong group of Canberrans and Pacific Climate Warriors from Vanuatu, Tuvalu and Fiji who "peacefully" occupied the office in an attempt to meet with the industry body's director Brendan Pearson, the group's spokesman Josh Creaser said.

Ten protesters were arrested for occupying the Minerals Council office in Forrest on Tuesday.
Ten protesters were arrested for occupying the Minerals Council office in Forrest on Tuesday. 

He said the group had hoped to tell the Minerals Council how fossil fuels were negatively affecting the lives of people across the Pacific region and were surprised at the reaction.

"The Minerals Council response was quite full on, they immediately called the police," he said.

Canberrans and Pacific Climate Warriors escorted from the Minerals Council office in Forrest.
Canberrans and Pacific Climate Warriors escorted from the Minerals Council office in Forrest. 

"The 10 people who decided to stay and keep telling the Pacific Islands' story were arrested and we believe them to be charged with trespass."

15 Canberrans and Pacific Climate Warriors protested in Forrest on Tuesday morning.
15 Canberrans and Pacific Climate Warriors protested in Forrest on Tuesday morning. 

Mr Creaser said the group had not approached the Minerals Council to arrange a meeting with the director or other executives prior to occupying the office, but felt it was the only way to respond to comments from Prime Minister Tony Abbott and the industry that coal was good for humanity.

"We weren't sure if they would agree to talk but we didn't think they'd have their staff push our people around," he said.

The action followed a similar occupation of the Whitehaven Coal headquarters in Sydney on Monday.