French journos charged at Qld mine protest

French journalists have been charged with trespassing at an anti-Adani protest in north Queensland.
French journalists have been charged with trespassing at an anti-Adani protest in north Queensland.

A French journalist charged while covering a protest against Adani's Carmichael coal mine in northern Queensland says he and his crew were arrested without explanation.

Reporter Hugo Clement and three crew were filming a protest by activist group Frontline Action on Coal near the Abbot Point terminal just north of Bowen on Monday.

The demonstrations come after reports Adani would begin clearing land on Galilee Basin mine site this week.

Mr Clement told AAP he spent several hours in a cell after being arrested while filming a protest, which included two demonstrators locking their hands inside a concrete barrel.

"We were just filming the action at the blockade of the highway and police came straight to us and arrested us without a word, without saying anything," Clement said.

"They took us into a cell for seven hours."

He said he and his crew, who work for French public broadcaster France 2, were charged with trespassing and released on conditional bail, which included that they not go within 20km of the Carmichael site.

"We didn't understand why they arrested us because we weren't doing anything wrong, we were just doing our jobs by filming the action," he said.

"I had a good picture of Australia ... this is not a very democratic thing to say to a film crew, to say you cannot go there."

A Victorian man and two Victorian women, aged 20 and 22, have been also been charged with trespassing offences.

They are all due to appear in Bowen Magistrates Court on September 3.

Queensland Police released a statement which said the organisation "supports lawful and peaceful protest and is committed to working with groups to plan and facilitate lawful activities".

Australian Associated Press