Police squads brought in over Adani activists
AN INCREASED police presence is around Bowen following the arrival of a large activist group looking to take "radical non-violent action" against Adani.
"A surge of police numbers" has been brought up from Mackay to respond to activists who, over the past 18 months, have carried out a number of inactivities around Bowen.
Bowen Police Senior Sergeant Craig Shepherd said the increase in police numbers would focus on maintaining order and preventing offences along Bowen's rail network and port.
"They periodically carry out activities on the rail corridor or the port or illegally trespass upon sites and set up blockades," he said.
"Through their own social media they've advertised that they intend to take action against the port."
A public safety response team, a tactical crime squad, and extra traffic units are among those included in the increased presence. Also on hand are specialised police "cutters" trained in cutting off devices used to lock onto infrastructure.
Sen Sgt Shepherd said police would pay close attention to the group who were currently based at an activist camp outside of town.
"These people have openly and readily stated they're going to break the law so naturally they are on our radar," he said.
"Everyone has a right to peaceful protest, what we don't support is the breaking of law such as trespassing and climbing onto the infrastructure. It's illegal and it's not safe for the protesters or the workers."
Police have closely monitored the full-time activist camp which they say is used as a training ground to target infrastructure around ports and railways.
He urged both protesters and locals alike to obey the law or risk being arrested.
"Emotions run high, but we caution against people taking matters into their own hands," he said.
"Leave it up to police, we've got sufficient resources here and we ask both sides to respect that."