More arrests as protests cause rail chaos

July 1, 2024 10:57 am in by
Image: Blockade Australia

Six people have been charged in four days over a series of guerilla-style anti-coal protests that have caused days of rail disruptions across the Hunter region.

NSW Trains announced on Friday that night services between Newcastle Interchange and Dungog, and Newcastle Interchange and Scone, would be replaced by buses, between 7pm and 5am.

In a media statement, the organisation said the move was made for safety reasons.

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“This decision is not taken lightly and is to ensure the safety of the travelling public, train crew, and emergency service workers that need to enter the rail corridor to conduct rescues,” the statement read.

“NSW Trains is constantly assessing the situation and taking the advice of NSW Police and critical surveillance teams.”

Blockade Australia has been staging anti-coal protests targeting railway lines in Victoria, NSW and Queensland for weeks.

The latest arrest occurred early on Sunday when a 40-year-old woman was taken into custody at Lochinvar.

She is due in court on Wednesday of next week on multiple charges related to interference with railway equipment.

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On Saturday a 24-year-old woman was arrested at Branxton on similar charges.

On Friday a 59-year-old man who allegedly climbed into an open carriage at Sandgate was taken into custody, while on Thursday night two women, aged 25 and 77-year-old, were arrested at Allandale.

Earlier last week NSW Premier Chris Minns blasted the protests, promising those convicted that they would face “the full consequences of the law”.

A NSW Trains spokesperson said services had returned to normal early on Monday morning.