Wendy Bowman, an 83-year-old Hunter Valley resident, has just been awarded the prestigious Goldman Environmental Prize in the US for standing up to Chinese miner Yancoal.
Yancoal is a coal mining giant controlled by the Chinese government, with extensive operations in the Hunter Valley, NSW.
In 2010 it proposed to extend their Ashton South East Open Cut mine onto Wendy’s grazing lands. This would have brought the mine right up to the banks of one of the Hunter River’s most important tributaries.
But rather than be bullied into selling up her farm, Wendy decided to fight the application, becoming a key plaintiff in a major public interest lawsuit.
In 2014, the Land and Environment Court issued its ruling: the Ashton expansion could only go ahead if Yancoal could get Wendy to agree to sell them her land.
Yancoal have since offered her millions for the farm, but unlike many of our politicians, she can’t be bought with Chinese cash!
She’s now working on a plan to have the site protected in perpetuity.
Sign up for the latest news