Dawson MP George Christensen and Whitsunday MP Jason Costigan say extreme green protesters are putting strain on police resources in Mackay-Whitsunday.
Dawson MP George Christensen and Whitsunday MP Jason Costigan say extreme green protesters are putting strain on police resources in Mackay-Whitsunday. Kevin Farmer

Resources boost call: Police 'fed up' with green protesters

DAWSON MP George Christensen says Mackay-Whitsunday police are "fed up" with 10-hour round trips to arrest extreme green protesters at Adani's Carmichael mine site.

And one state MP fears further strain will be put on police resources with the development of the Galilee Basin.

Member for Whitsunday Jason Costigan has called on Police Minister Mark Ryan to acknowledge claims ramped-up protest activity in the Galilee Basin has put increased pressure on police resources in Mackay-Whitsunday.

He also demanded answers on how the State Government planned to tackle this.

On August 7, Queensland Police Service confirmed a team of police officers from Bowen had responded to a protest at Adani's Carmichael mine site after protesters suspended themselves from 9m poles.

The drive from Bowen to the Adani mine site is at least 6.5 hours.

Mr Christensen said the protest activity had put a strain on local police resources and detracted from proactive policing in the region.

"I have heard first-hand from police officers in this region that they are fed up with having to deal with this," he said.

"Obviously we've got the Carmichael mine under construction now and I know the other day actions by extreme green protesters out on the mine site caused police in Bowen to have to drive probably a 10-hour round trip-plus to go out there, deal with it and then come back.

"It's not the mining company or its contractors that are causing this issue, the illegal activity is happening from activists."

A spokesman for Mr Ryan said police from the Mackay district had responded to a number of protest actions across the region.

"Staff responding to these actions have been drawn from resources across the district as well as specialist units, where appropriate," the spokesman said.

"Responses to calls for service have been maintained across the Mackay district throughout this period.

"District management constantly reviews all issues impacting on service delivery across the Mackay district to ensure a consistent and appropriate policing response is maintained."

Mr Christensen said he hoped "the book is thrown" at protesters who lock themselves to equipment and other objects at mine sites.

"I'd just say to them, 'stop breaking the law, you are going to get in trouble. You are going to be facing the Bowen Magistrates' Court very soon if you keep that up'," he said.

"If you've got an issue with the government approving projects, come and protest out the front of my office. My staff love that."

Under tough new laws proposed by Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk this week, protesters who use the lock-on devices face up to two years in prison or a maximum $6527 fine.



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