Police seek $561,000 from New Acland mine protesters
THE two protesters who chained themselves to a cement-filled drum on a rail track near Jondaryan last month have been hit with a massive restitution demand by police.
Emma Jade Dorge and Jonathan Manoel Pinheiro fronted the Toowoomba Magistrates Court this morning facing four charges for actions they claim were in protest of the New Acland mine near Oakey on June 28.
A police spokeswoman confirmed prosecutors were seeking $561,000 worth of restitution on behalf of New Hope Group, who own the mine, Queensland Rail and other companies impacted by the protest.
Dorge claimed outside of court the mining company was seeking a "ridiculous" $427,000 of that figure from her and Pinheiro.
"I very much expected to be here because it was a sacrifice I decided to make for the future of our climate," she said.
"Other avenues of dissent had failed."
The pair had locked themselves to a drum on the track at 6.30am, posting numerous live videos to Facebook and participating in interviews with media during the stand-off with police.
They were cut free from the barrel and arrested after six hours on the tracks.
Dorge, who the court heard was a nursing student from Brisbane, asked Magistrate Viviana Keegan to remove a bail condition that she not go near Queensland Rail property so she could use trains in Brisbane to get to work and lectures.
That condition was altered, but a request to remove a no-contact order with her co-accused on the basis that they were friends was denied.
Both have not been required to enter a plea to the charges, with Magistrate Keegan adjourning their matters to be heard back in the same court on August 23.
New Hope Group was contacted but did not wish to comment on why it was seeking restitution.