Two men have appeared in Gunnedah Local Court on charges relating to an incident at the Whitehaven Coal Washery last year.
Tighes Hill anti-coal mining protester Timothy Buchanan, 29, who also goes by the name Timothy Van Der Broek, appeared before Magistrate Barnett charged with maliciously hindering the working of mining equipment, entering enclosed lands not prescribed premises without lawful excuse and two counts of hiding tools/clothing/property to unlawfully influence a person.
The first matter was withdrawn and dismissed, the second withdrawn by leave and one of the remaining two charges was also withdrawn.
On the one remaining matter, Buchanan was placed on a Section 10, 18-month bond without conviction.
Part of the bond’s conditions requires that Buchanan not enter or remain within 50 metres of a mining site.
Andrew Lenart, 52, of Northmead, was also charged with maliciously hindering the working of mining equipment, entering enclosed lands not prescribed premises without lawful excuse and two counts of hiding tools/clothing/property to unlawfully influence a person.
Only one charge proceeded and Lenart was convicted of hiding tools/clothing/property to unlawfully influence a person and fined $500.
The court was told Buchanan and Lenart were part of a group which had gone to the washery to “illegally target the coal mine” early on the morning of September 29.
The group had walked past a boundary fence at the washery and Buchanan and another of the accused had attached themselves internally by their arms to a 44-gallon drum filled with chains, glass bottles and ropes which had been cemented.
The pair couldn’t be removed by police and specialised equipment and officers from the Police Rescue Service had to be called.
It took officers seven hours before both were removed from the site and during that time, heavy vehicles could not access or leave the site.
Buchanan, a Bachelor of Fine Arts student, refused to be electronically interviewed by police.