IN COURT: Timothy James Buchanan faced Bowen Magistrates Court last Tuesday charged with obstructing railways, trespassing on a railway, contravening a direction or requirement of police and obstructing a police officer.
IN COURT: Timothy James Buchanan faced Bowen Magistrates Court last Tuesday charged with obstructing railways, trespassing on a railway, contravening a direction or requirement of police and obstructing a police officer. Monique Preston

Alleged protester to be asked for restitution

A LAST minute request for restitution has meant an alleged protester will have to return to Bowen to front court, but he will be able to stay at the protester camp at Bogie when he does so.

Timothy James Buchanan, 33, of the Newcastle suburb of Tighes Hill in New South Wales, faced Bowen Magistrates Court last Tuesday charged with obstructing railways, trespassing on a railway, contravening a direction or requirement of police and obstructing a police officer.

Mr Buchanan allegedly erected a tripod over the railway line at Collinsville on March 2.

He did not enter a plea during last week's court appearance after prosecutor Sergeant Emma Myors produced paperwork on the day calling for restitution for Mr Buchanan's actions.

As Mr Buchanan told the court he was returning home to Newcastle that day, Sgt Myors asked that a condition be added back onto his bail conditions that he not be allowed to go to the protester camp in Normanby Rd, Bogie.

The condition had previously been removed the week before when Mr Buchanan argued in Proserpine Magistrates Court six days earlier that he had nowhere to go in Queensland if he could not stay at that address.

"These are serious charges," Sgt Myors said.

"There is a well-known civil disobedience protesters camp there. They speak to each other and teach each other.

"They (some protesters who have been before the court, including Mr Buchanan) are excluded because we don't want them to teach others.

"There's not just one place in Bowen where people can reside."

Mr Buchanan's solicitor Cleo Rewald, however, argued her client would need somewhere to stay when he returned to Bowen for his next court appearance.

"There is no offence that occurs at that location," Mrs Rewald said.

She said living at the protester camp was not the only way information could be passed along.

"One does not need to reside with others to teach. It can happen by a vast number of means including social media and email."

Magistrate Ron Muirhead adjourned the matter until May 7, but did not accept the argument he could not return to the Bogie Camp.

However, he pointed out that Mr Buchanan's bail conditions would not set a precedent for any others who would come before the court.

"You did want the matter finalised today, but you were given new information today," Mr Muirhead said.

"You are an exception because it was adjourned through no fault of your own."

Mr Buchanan's bail continued with conditions which included he not go within 100m of any Aurizon railway line, or within 100m of Abbot Point coal loading facility, Abbot Point Rd or any Adani site or land.