CLOSE CALL: An anti-Adani protester who suspended herself eight metres above a railway is lucky to walk away unhurt.
CLOSE CALL: An anti-Adani protester who suspended herself eight metres above a railway is lucky to walk away unhurt. Contributed

Anti-Adani protester narrowly escapes injury

AN anti-Adani activist who suspended herself from a tripod to stop coal trains has narrowly escaped injury after a lucky catch from emergency services prevented her from falling 30 metres to the ground.  

The 23-year-old woman suspended herself above a railway line just north of Merinda on Tuesday, before a gust of wind destabilised a leg of the structure causing it to lift and begin to topple over.

QFES personal immediately jumped on the leg of the tripod to ground it, which police said prevented the protester from falling down the embankment the structure was perched atop.

Bowen Police Senior Sergeant Craig Shepherd said she then agreed to cease her protesting action following the incident which he said "shook her up".

"If the QFES personal hadn't jumped on that tripod leg, it would've tipped over," Snr Sgt Shepherd said.

"Not only would she have fallen eight metres from the top of the tripod, she also would've fallen another 20 metres down the embankment, which most likely would've resulted in significant injuries or death.

"So she placed herself in a very dangerous situation."

The activist from Front Line Action on Coal (FLAC) blocked coal trains from reaching the Abbot Point port for more than three hours before being arrested and taken into custody.

It follows previous stunts this year which saw two protesters chain themselves to a drum of concrete, and five more lock themselves to coal loading equipment after sneaking into Abbot Point port.

Snr Sgt Shepherd said police have no problem with peaceful protesting but said it became an issue when it prevented officers from carrying out regular duties.

He said there were peaceful ways to protest without breaking the law.

"My concern lies with the fact that, they are a risk to their own safety, and my officers and other emergency services have to go up to unstable platforms and areas to deal with them which creates a risk to them," Snr Sgt said.

"The fact they are breaking the law takes emergency services away and the greater community are drained of emergency personnel."

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