Protester ‘surprised’ at $10,000 fine for blocking rail line
AN ENVIRONMENTAL activist has been hit with the "highest" fine of its kind after she was charged for blocking trains entering Adani-owned Abbot Point Coal Terminal.
Freya Nolin, 21, of Fremantle in Western Australia was fined $10,000 in the Bowen Magistrates Court on April 2.
She pleaded guilty to obstructing a rail line, trespass on a rail line and contravening a police direction after locking herself to railway tracks leading to the port as part of a weeklong "Shut Down Adani" event in March.
Nolin was the last of five protesters who locked themselves to the rail line, blocking access for 75 hours.
Two other people were also charged with attempting to enter the Abbot Point Port.
Nolin confirmed she would be appealing the decision and was "surprised" at the sizeable fine.
This was her first offence and no conviction was recorded.
Whitsunday resident Jessa Millicent supported Nolin's actions and said the "imbalance of justice" was strikingly clear considering Adani's recent fine.
Adani, as the operator of the Abbot Point Coal Terminal, was issued a penalty infringement notice by the Department of Environment and Science on March 25.
The mining giant was fined $13,055 for releasing floodwater into the Caley Valley Wetlands that contained more contaminants than is allowed under its environmental license.
Departmental officials found water released contained 33mg/L of total suspended solids, whereas Adani is authorised to release contaminated water containing only 30mg/L of total suspended solids.
Adani has until April 21 to either pay the fine or contest it.