Marion Lester protests Woodside LNG Gas Hub in Broome

Marion Lester locked on to a to on to a truck carrying a drilling machine - image from Save the Kimberley Facebook30th August, 2011 – A 58 year old Broome woman, Marion Lester, pleaded guilty yesterday to breaching a move on order, but Magistrate Colin Roberts said she had suffered enough by spending the weekend in custody and no conviction was recorded. The Broome Magistrates Court was told that Ms Lester, who had no previous convictions, crawled onto a flatbed trailer and secured herself to the rig around 2am on Friday, August 26.

She remained there with arms aloft on Cape Leveque Road, near the Manari Road turnoff, for the next 37 hours, refusing to unlock herself or comply with a move-on notice issued by police. Ms Lester finally freed herself about 4.30pm Saturday, negating the need for specialist police to be flown in from Perth. She was taken to hospital and treated for dehydration and suffered “a splitting headache” while in custody after being charged.

Ms Lester pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity but refused to comply with bail conditions which meant she had to stay at least 500m away from the protest site, meaning consequently she was held in custody over the weekend. Her lawyer, Tom Allen, said his client had a deep connection to the Kimberley and had committed the protest action as a “non-violent act of last resort”. “She felt there was no other course of conduct,” he said.

Sgt Matt Barker said protest actions were placing a significant strain on police resources in Broome.