Climate Protesters Arrested After Scaling Rail Bridge To Block Port Of Newcastle

Protesters climbed a rail bridge at Kooragang this morning | Image Blockade Australia

Three climate activists have been arrested after scaling the Kooragang Rail Bridge.

The trio from Blockade Australia allegedly scaled the bridge in an effort to halt rail movements to and from the Port of Newcastle.

Among them was Ian Fox, a 67-year-old man from Adelaide who suspended himself over the Hunter River, holding a banner which read “Survival depends on non-compliance. Act your politics.”

Police swarmed the scene around 7am with specialist officers from the dog unit and police rescue called in to assist in the operation.

Eventually all three men – aged 20, 27 and 67 – were taken into custody and removed from the train line.

They were taken back to Newcastle Police Station where they are assisting with official inquiries.

This is not the first time protests have disrupted the world’s largest coal port, with Blockade Australia carrying out similar demonstrations, some lasting days, over the last three years.

Their activity first disrupted the Port of Newcastle in 2021, Port Botany and the Sydney CBD in 2022, with three major ports targeted across Australia just last year.

In a statement, a spokesperson for the group said it aims to call attention to the climate crisis and that “Australia is not only ineffective in addressing the crisis, but is geared to fuel it.”

“The Australian system is failing spectacularly at providing for people’s needs and guaranteeing a safe future. The elites at the helm will not change course without confrontation. Direct action like this at key trading infrastructure is how we make a different future possible.”

Charges against the three protesters in Newcastle are expected to be laid this afternoon.