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Mass protests as Aussies support Reef over coal mine

October 11, 2017 Headline News No Comments Email Email

Thousands of Australians turned out last Saturday, largely at beach locations, to oppose Indian company Adani’s proposed giant Carmichael coal mine in Queensland’s Galilee Basin – a project which would see vast tonnages of coal moved to the Abbot Point coal port fronting the middle of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park.

The proposal has been greeted with horror by nature lovers, tourism operators and environmentalists worldwide – particularly as it’s so close to the Great Barrier Reef. Opponents say the project will fuel global warming and destroy the Reef, which is why the day of action was held on Saturday.

“Australia cannot afford to risk this critical multi-billion dollar tourism asset [the Reef] on another polluting, outdated and unsustainable energy source, when a clear alternative is ready and waiting,” Climate Council chief executive Amanda McKenzie said.

Human sign – Stop Adani!

She urged the Queensland and Federal governments to leave fossil fuels in the ground and move towards a clean, secure, efficient and affordable energy future through investment in renewable and storage technology.

Last Monday, the ABC’s Four Corners program revealed alleged cases of bribery, corruption and environmentally destructive conduct by the Adani Group in India.

Adani wants a AUD 900-million loan from taxpayers so it can build a railway line from the proposed mine site in the Galilee Basin to the Abbot Point coal port fronting the middle of the Great Barrier Reek Marine Park.

Rallies on Saturday took place in locations including Sydney, Wollongong, Brisbane, Melbourne, the Gold Coast and Port Douglas in North Queensland.

Perception is everything when it comes to Great Barrier Reef tourism. Wikimedia Commons

Meanwhile, the grassroots climate action movement 350.org organised a ReachTEL poll which revealed most Australians oppose the Carmichael mine. Opposition to the mine covered all political persuasions, from Greens to One Nation.

Opposition was also high among National Party voters.

Two thirds of Australians want the Queensland government to use its power to veto the loan to Adani.

Underwater protest

Prominent businessman and Australian Conservation Foundation president, Geoff Cousins AO, spoke at the Bondi protest event on Saturday.

“Adani’s new dirty coal mine will damage everything it touches,” he said.

“It will pollute where they dig up. It will pollute when they burn the coal. And it’ll make the world a more dangerous place by fuelling global warming.

A diver on the Great Barrier Reef with a pair of Barrier Reef Anemonefish – cousins of the clown fish made famous in the film “Finding Nemo”

“It is astounding that our elected representatives are bending over backwards to give Adani preferential treatment to help it build a massive dirty coal mine that will threaten our Great Barrier Reef. And it is crazy the Turnbull Government is now considering a billion dollar handout to help Adani build it. The Turnbull Government must stop the loan and not let this mine go ahead.”

Written by Peter Needham

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