Stop Adani protesters outside the Eastern Tree Services Garbutt office
Stop Adani protesters outside the Eastern Tree Services Garbutt office

Tree company rubbishes Stop Adani claims after protest

WORKERS of a Townsville vegetation management company were unable to enter their office on Monday after it was blockaded by anti-Adani protesters.

But the protesters claim, that the company had signed a contract with Adani to clear a large expanse of trees for its mine, has been rubbished.

And a spokesman for Eastern Tree Services said the branch had been on a day off anyway.

Up to 20 protesters blockaded the entrance of Eastern Tree Services in Garbutt from about 6am on Monday morning.

They were demanding the company, which has branches across Australia and is based in Lilydale, Victoria, tear up their supposed contract with the mining giant.

The protesters claimed ETS had been contracted by Adani to put in firebreaks as part of the mining giants rail line.

Adani had previously planned to build a 388km standard gauge railway between the Galilee Basin and Abbot Point Port but will instead leverage existing rail infrastructure and build a narrow gauge line that will be about 200km.

But a spokesman for ETS said the company's only link to Adani was a contract with Abbot Point Port to carry out routine maintenance on an existing firebreak along the fence line of the terminal.

The fire break is said to be about 2km long.

"We are not engaged to do work on any new or existing rail lines or at the proposed new mine," the ETS spokesman said.

Protesters also showed up at other ETS sites, including for an hour at their Victorian headquarters.

Ben Pennings from the Stop Adani movement said he had spoken to the chief executive of ETS, who had ruled out accepting Adani contracts.

"If Eastern Tree Service don't rule out clearing endangered bushland for Adani's train line to nowhere, we'll be all over them like a rash that never stops itching," he said.

An Adani Australia spokeswoman said protesters should be held accountable for disrupting private business based on incorrect information.

"Once again we are seeing activist and anti-coal groups peddle misinformation in an attempt to create hysteria based on myths," she said.

"Had the group checked its facts, it would have found that the business which it caused disruption to today is not a contractor for the Carmichael Project.

"We recognise there are varied opinions about the Carmichael Project, but when groups such as this disrupt private businesses, impacting employees and their families based on incorrect information, they should be held accountable."