Ginny Gerlach will head to Switzerland this Sunday to urge Glencore-Xstrata to drop it's plans for a coal terminal at Balaclava Island.
Ginny Gerlach will head to Switzerland this Sunday to urge Glencore-Xstrata to drop it's plans for a coal terminal at Balaclava Island. Chris Ison Rokckeppel

Activist off to Switzerland to be lone voice at Xstrata AGM

YEPPOON environmental activist Ginny Gerlach has taken the extraordinary step of becoming a shareholder in mining giant Glencore-Xstrata to ensure her voice is heard.

The Keppel and Fitzroy Delta Alliance member will put her career as a yachting instructor on hold and take her one-woman campaign to the company's annual general meeting in Switzerland.

The one share in Glencore-Xstrata will be Ms Gerlach's ticket into the AGM, where she will push for the company to put aside its proposed Balaclava Island Coal Export Terminal.

"The Glencore-Xstrata AGM is an important opportunity to have my voice heard and to let the company know directly, and in person, what the impact of the terminals will be on my home," Ms Gerlach said.

"Glencore-Xstrata have a responsibility to act in the best interest of their shareholders - which is why I became one.

"They also have an obligation to listen to the concerns of the communities where they plan to operate about the impact of their developments - and I am one of those too."

Ms Gerlach has also campaigned against another coal port, the Fitzroy Terminal Project, which has been proposed for Port Alma near Rockhampton.

Both ports are proposed to be built in the Fitzroy Delta within the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park.

Ms Gerlach has been a fierce advocate for the well-being of the reef and marine species threatened by proposed coal ports, such as the snubfin dolphin and flatback turtles.

Glencore-Xstrata are having an Environmental Impact Statement prepared for the Balaclava Island Coal Export Terminal.

Ms Gerlach will fly out of Australia to Switzerland on Saturday.



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