Emma Dorge appears in Wynnum Magistrates Court
Emma Dorge appears in Wynnum Magistrates Court

‘Train blockading’ serial activist gets off on a hunch

A SERIAL climate activist, who was alleged to be part of a crew who blocked a coal train on a Brisbane line as part of a protest, has had her charges unexpectedly dropped after appearing in court today.

Extinction Rebellion spokeswoman, Emma Dorge, appeared at the Wynnum Magistrates Court for a hearing on charges of trespassing on a railway and obstructing a railway after a train was blocked at Lytton, en route to the Port of Brisbane on December 3, 2019.

Bridgeman Downs resident Ms Dorge, 24, pleaded not guilty to the charges.

However, what was expected to be a long hearing with a total of seven witnesses was cut short after just 30 minutes, when Police prosecutor senior constable Duncan Blackburn told Magistrate Sheryl Cornack they were dropping all charges.

Emma Dorge at the Wynnum Magistrates Court today. Picture: Brayden Heslehurst
Emma Dorge at the Wynnum Magistrates Court today. Picture: Brayden Heslehurst

The decision came after one of the train drivers, Karlo Vukasic, said he could only "guess" when identifying the person who blocked the train on a photo board provided by police.

When asked by Magistrate Cornack how sure he was that he could identify the person, Mr Vukasic said "80 per cent".

Climate change protest group Extinction Rebellion stopped a coal from entering Brisbane after two activists climbed atop the trains at Lytton in December last year. Picture: Supplied
Climate change protest group Extinction Rebellion stopped a coal from entering Brisbane after two activists climbed atop the trains at Lytton in December last year. Picture: Supplied

Following Mr Vukasic's evidence, a break was taken and after talk between Mr Blackburn and defence lawyer, Mr P Wilson from Sibley Lawyers, the prosecution told Magistrate Cornack they were withdrawing all charges.

The train which was stopped by protesters at Lytton in December, 2019.
The train which was stopped by protesters at Lytton in December, 2019.

Ms Dorge said it was a relief to finally have the case over.

The case has been in the public eye for the past seven months after Ms Dorge and the two other alleged offenders were controversially held in custody before later receiving Supreme Court bail four days after the incident.

It also brings Ms Dorge's latest case to an end after appearing in the Brisbane Magistrates Court in March on charges of blocking two streets in the CBD for a protest in August last year.

She was fined $1,400 over the offences but no conviction was recorded.

Originally published as 'Train blockading' serial activist gets off on a hunch


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