Doctors arrested after coalmine protest

A band of 13 medical professionals and students wearing medical scrubs more than four hours chained together across a road to the Maules Creek mine site before they were charged and detained by police.

A large protest camp has been set up at the site, where Whitehaven Coal is developing a $767 million open-cut mine in the Leard State Forest, near Boggabri.

Former GP Dr Ingo Weber, an anaesthetist from Adelaide, said the group – calling themselves Medics Against Coal – travelled from all over Australia to join the protest after meeting up on the internet over their shared concern about the health impacts of coal and climate change.

Linked together by hooks inside thick PVC pipes, Dr Weber and three others were blocking the road to the mine site when they declined a police request to move on.  

“We explained to the police as health professionals we have a duty of care to protect the community and human health, and we