Anti-coal group backtracks on automation claim

AN ANTI-COAL activist group has been forced to backtrack after making a false statement about trucks at Adani’s Carmichael mine site.

On Thursday, three people were arrested and charged after they allegedly locked on to gates and equipment at Hastings Deering’s Paget workshop.

In a post on the Frontline Action on Coal Facebook page, which has since been updated, the activist group incorrectly claimed Hastings Deering was assembling “driverless trucks marked for work on Adani’s Carmichael mine”.

An Adani spokeswoman said the Carmichael mine and rail line would not be automated.

“Anti-fossil fuel activists knowingly use myths and misrepresent the truth in their campaign to damage the Australian mining industry,” she said.

“Yesterday in Mackay an activist group locked onto the steering wheel of a large truck at a local workshop while the group’s sophisticated and well-funded public relations machine duped the media and public into believing it was an automated, or driverless truck.

“The Carmichael mine and rail line will not be automated, we will use the same conventional coal mining techniques and equipment used in other Queensland coal mines,” the Adani spokeswoman said.

A Frontline Action on Coal spokeswoman told the Daily Mercury she acknowledged the group had incorrectly stated the truck was driverless.

“Adani have stated it was not a driverless truck, and we accept their statement and acknowledge our mistake,” the group said in a statement.

“We did not wish to misrepresent the truth and endeavour to always tell the truth …”

Queensland Resources Council chief executive Ian Macfarlane said yesterday’s example was not an isolated incident.

“Every day there is misinformation about what the mining industry is doing,” Mr Macfarlane said.

“It is quite a constant theme of activist groups to distort the truth and quite often tell blatant lies.”

Mr Macfarlane said anti-coal groups spreading incorrect information failed to take into consideration the impact of their false messages on young people.

“They spread misinformation, particularly about the impact on the environment, and that deters young people from considering a career in the mining industry,” he said.

Mr Macfarlane said QRC would continue to inform the community with factual information about the mining industry.

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