Jane Elizabeth Gibson pleaded guilty in Bowen Magistrate Court after chaining herself to a cattle grid to block access to an Adani work camp. Picture: Frontline Action on Coal.
Jane Elizabeth Gibson pleaded guilty in Bowen Magistrate Court after chaining herself to a cattle grid to block access to an Adani work camp. Picture: Frontline Action on Coal.

Protester unlocked herself for a farmer, not for police

AN ANTI-ADANI protester who chained herself to a cattle grid ignored police orders to unlock herself, but had earlier "happily" unlocked herself to let a farmer through, a court has heard.

Jane Elizabeth Gibson, 34, chained herself to a cattle grid on Stratford Rd, Mount Coolon, in an attempt to block contractors heading to work at an Adani work camp.

Police prosecutor sergeant Emma Myors told Bowen Magistrates Court the Victorian woman was spotted by security patrolling the area about 6.45am on February 21.

On arrival, police observed Gibson to be sitting on a bench seat, ankles chained and locked with a chain and padlock.

Sgt Myors said Gibson was observed blocking workers and any potential emergency services who may have needed access to the work site.

The court heard Gibson was given direction by police to move as she was at risk in the location.

"(Gibson) said she would only unchain herself if the mine was stopped," Sgt Myors said.

Lawyer Daniel Blakewell said the actions were a "conscientious protest, not to the specific coal mine but more broadly climate change".

He said Gibson was recently self-employed in community and theatre groups, and as a casual english teacher.

He said due to recent coronavirus measures, her predominantly international students were no longer studying in Australia and as a result she was on a Newstart allowance.

Mr Blakewell said Gibson's intentions were not to cause "insult or injury to the workers", but she held a concern for "society's well being more generally".

He said she was specifically there to stop the Adani business, telling the court she "happily" unlocked herself to let a farmer through before police arrived.

Magistrate Ron Muirhead said Gibson's actions were a "blatant disregard for the law."

"Clearly you fully intended to commit the offence, travelling from Victoria, and you're fully aware there is lawful ways to protest," Mr Muirhead said.

Gibson pleaded guilty to contravening police direction and causing an obstruction, fined a total of $1750 for both charges. No convictions were recorded.


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