‘A sickening feeling of betrayal: the new battle for Maules Creek

Allegations spies infiltrated a group of NSW anti-coalmine activists have shaken but not shattered the sense of trust in the close-knit protest camp

The vast green paddocks and dense forest at Maules Creek seem to stretch endlessly in this peaceful part of north-western New South Wales. Its a quiet place, but something has changed at almost every turn on the narrow roads there are police. All through the day the vans crunch across the gravelly roads. Car searches are common.

There is one road to which the police pay particular attention. The vans slow to a crawl outside a farm near the Leard state forest where the Front Line Action on Coal camp is leading a campaign against major mining developments in the region.

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