Snap Melbourne protest on Federal funding of Adani Coal mine
On Monday you might have heard that up to 1000 people rallied at Treasury Place in Melbourne in protest of the leaked announcement that the Federal Government was funding the Adani Coal mine rail infrastructure to the tune of one billion dollars from the Northern Infrastructure fund to build the $2.2 billion rail line. Climate Action Moreland members were there.
The Adani Carmichael coal mine in the Galilee basin has been approved for development by both the Federal Liberal National Party Government and the Labor State Government. But it’s development will place extra pressure on the Great Barrier reef through dredging Abbot Point coal terminal and increasing ships through the reef. But the largest impact will come from the carbon dioxide when the coal is burnt that will add to climate change. Climate change is the biggest threat to the Great Barrier Reef, and the Federal Government have no effective plans for tackling the climate change threat to the reef.
The protest was called with less than 24 hours notice. Getting up to 1000 people along to a Monday morning protest was a significant achievement and represents wide opposition to the development of the Adani Carmicheal coal mine, and especially to any public funding of the mine.
Environment Justice Australia highlights that public funding may actually breach the Northern Infrastructure Funds loans mandate.
Building new mines (and funding it with public money) when coal is in structural decline does not make good economic let alone environmental sense. 64,000 depend on the Great Barrier Reef for employment, yet this is pitted against a mere 1464 jobs (Adani expert’s figure revealed in court) over the 60 year projected lifetime of the mine.
In fact, Adani along with other Indian electricity companies, are rapidly moving into renewables with the Adani Group launching world’s largest solar power plant in Tamil Nadu. Adani has plans to build 100-200 MW solar plant on 600ha near Moranbah in Queensland.
The Adani Carmichael Coal mine is at great risk of being a stranded asset. 14 global banks, including NAB and the Commonwealth Bank, ruled out funding for the mine in September 2015. ANZ and Westpac continue to be silent on funding the Carmichael coal mine.
The Wangan and Jagalingou Traditional Owners Family Council requested a meeting with Gautam Adani, asking for respect for country and their rights over the coal mine development. “We stand in the way” of Adani mine say Traditional Owners.
Here is Federal Labor’s Mark Butler on public funding of the Adani Mine:
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk was overjoyed with the prospects of a few more fly-in fly-out coal jobs, that will ultimately come with destruction of tourism jobs connected to the demise of the Great Barrier Reef.
Mining has become an area of high automation and there will be few jobs available.
“We will be utilizing at least 45, 400-tonne driverless trucks. All the vehicles will be capable of automation. When we ramp up the mine, everything will be autonomous from mine to port. In our eyes, this is the mine of the future,” said Adani Mining CEO Jeyakumar “JJ” Janakaraj in 2015.
A recent poll found that over two thirds of Australians think the reef crisis is ‘national emergency’.
And so what does coal dust do to coral?
Want to help stop the Adani mine? support the Australian Conservation Foundation campaign to stop Adani and save our reef!
Photos from the Melbourne protest: