by Geoff Egan
TWO NSW Greens politicians were arrested after leading anti-mine activists onto the proposed rail line that would link the Carmichael coalmine with the port.
NSW Upper House members Jeremy Buckingham and Dawn Walker marched with activists onto where Indian mining company Adani plans to build a rail line.
Queensland Police confirmed on Tuesday morning 17 people were ordered to leave the area. Nine of the group, including Mr Buckingham and Ms Walker, did so. But the remaining eight did not and were arrested for failing to comply with a police direction.
The two MPs were not taken into custody and were instead issued with tickets.
In a statement released after the arrest, the Mr Buckingham was unrepentant and defended his right to protest a mine more than 1500km from his home in Orange.
"I'm proud to stand with activists in defence of climate and country, and represent all those people around Australia and internationally who want to stop the Adani coal project," Mr Buckingham said.
"Although we are MPs from NSW this is an issue of national and international significance. Adani represents a line in the sand for all those concerned about climate change who do not want to see a new coal precinct opened up in Australia.
"Green MPs have a proud tradition of participating in peaceful, non-violent direct action and we stand with all those opposed to this crazy coal mine."
Ms Walker said she was proud to have taken part in the protest, despite being arrested.
"It was a very important day for me, stopping work on the Adani mine and being arrested with climate activists who understand the importance of preventing this destructive project from going ahead," she said.
"I was proud to stand with traditional owners who have said 'No means no' to Adani, and made it clear they will not be surrendering their land and water to this coal corporation.
"Although this mine is miles from anywhere, the eyes of all Australia are on it. We have travelled days to get here but believe many more will follow.
I'm appalled by the way this project is tearing indigenous communities apart and offering a sub-standard agreement to traditional owners for their land, with little economic opportunity. On every level Adani's controversial mine does not stack up."
Construction has not yet begun on the rail line but pre-construction work is underway at some parts.
Adani has applied for a $1 billion loan from the Northern Australia Infrastructure Fund to pay for the railway.
But Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has promised to veto any loan to Adani.
Adani did not respond to a request for comment. -NewsRegional