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EXCLUSIVE: Put another koala on the barbie for Adani, Scott

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Australia's precious and endangered koala population has been devastated by the Australian bushfires (Image screenshot from South China Morning Post video, 19 November 2019)

SCOTT MORRISON, A CANCELLED PASSAGE TO INDIA

The real reason Scott Morrison cancelled his Hawaii trip was to postpone a secret tryst with a controversial Indian mogul, reports contributing editor-at-large Tess Lawrence.

MODI OPERANDI AND THAT BADANI MINE

Put another koala on the barbie, Scott.

Why not a cow or two? How about a couple of million sheep ? Would you like fries with that?

While you’re at it Scotty, why not chuck a piece of that heart-warming "good for humanity" lump of Adani coal on the fire?

You know, like the one that you bring to parliament’s Show and Sell days, that you carry around in your reverse cycle boxers for luck. Not so much budgie smugglers, as budget smugglers for secreting political contraband.

In raking over the ashes of the bushfires, why haven’t interviewers questioned you about the Adani coal mine? Why does no-one dare speak its name to you? Have I missed something?

Why didn’t the new host of Sunday’s ABC’s Insiders, David Speers, recent escapee from Murdoch’s Sky News, question you about the coalition’s irresponsible, repugnant and environmentally criminal sanctioning of this awful project that will contribute to the millions of deaths attributed to the contamination of the world’s environment by fossil fuels?

MORRISON COAL’S CHIEF LOBBYIST  THEIR MAN IN THE OPAL OFFICE

As the coal industry’s chief lobbyist and their man in the Opal Office, when you get turfed, you’ll be looked after for life. For sure cobber. All the coal you can eat.

Just what does it take to stoke your mojo ScoMo? What lights your fire, your passion, your heart, your brain?

Your culpable intransigence, your failure to acknowledge the hydra-headed violence of human-made climate change, may one day see Australia indicted in international courts, alongside the likes of Brazil and Indonesia.

You are already condemned in the court of public opinion for your dereliction of duty. You are a dangerous liability to this country. To our survival. Our safety. Our future. Our Dreaming. Our Songlines.

FIGHT OR FLIGHT? OUR PM CHOSE FLIGHT

When it came to Walter Cannon’s fight or flight response, you chose flight. How lucky is Australia that, instead, her people stayed and chose to fight, for and with one another, in solidarity.

WE HAVE BETRAYED HARD YAKKA OF THOSE WHO CAME BEFORE — AND AFTER

We have already betrayed our First Nations. Now we have betrayed the country we stole from them and everyone who has since settled here. We have betrayed the hopes, aspirations and hard yakka of those who came before us, and we have trashed this country for those who come after us.

What is wrong with us? What is wrong with you, Prime Minister?

STENCH OF COOKED HUMAN FLESH FAILS TO ELICIT EMPATHY

Even the acrid stench of cooked human flesh seems unable to elicit empathy from you. We know, like many of your colleagues and brethren, you’re a climate change sceptic and sociopath.

Neither the toll of an incinerated billion wildlife creatures, nor the charred carcasses of millions of farm animals seems to move you. Are you in shock, perhaps? Bewildered?

You seem immune to the sight of the charred and blackened skin of the earth; our beloved sunburnt country, burnt out, burning out, burning; dressed in the chiffon snow of black and white ash that still falls, nature’s cruel confetti fashioned from broken dreams, the memento mori of what was, once upon a time; now become a funereal pyre.

THIS SLOW BURN OF OUR GOLGOTHA — NO MOISTENED SPONGE TO OUR LIPS

We are a nation long dying from thirst. Our throat is parched. This is the slow burn of our Golgotha. Where is the moistened sponge to our lips ? It’s a mere hop, skip and a jump lead from Gethsemane to the Galilee basin.

Cometh the hour, whence cometh the man? You’re not up to it, mate.

Not only is our nation on fire, so too, as Friday’s galvanising protests in Australia and a collegiate world attest, millions of "other" people are also railing and rallying against your refusal to accede the terrible role we humans continue to play in climate change.

You’re a laughing stock and have brought ridicule upon your office and our country.

WHERE THERE’S SMOKE THERE’S IRE

Any drover’s dog can lead in times of relative mundanity. The true test emerges in times of crises. Prime Minister Scott Morrison, you have failed that test.

You are prepared to sell out your country to environmental rapists and pillagers. Thus you are prepared to further jeopardize Australia’s and the world’s ecological and environmental security.

WHERE THE BLOODY ALOHA ARE YOU? WHERE ARE YOU NOW, REALLY?

You’re not up to the kind of fearless leadership we need to fight this good fight and you are unworthy to be our leader. You’re not strong enough to call a halt to even new coal mines. Where the bloody Aloha are you? Really. You have neither the will nor the political courage to protect us from Adani’s inevitable harm — not just here, but the harm the burning of coal will cause in India and elsewhere too.

From the Guardian in 2015:

“We are very concerned by this myopic focus on coal,” said Dr Simon Bradshaw, author of the Oxfam report. "Coal is the single biggest contributor to climate change, the impacts of which are most felt by poorer people through floods, drought, cyclones and changes to food patterns."

Australia’s indecent collusion with Adani simply enshrines us as part of the problem of toxic emissions — and not the solution. It is the old story of First World nations imposing their environmental filth upon the Fourth World. For money.

Despite an action plan, and much political hullabaloo, Delhi remains blanketed by pollution (Source: India Climate Dialogue (2017) — nothing’s changed)

MORRISON LITTLE MORE THAN POLITICAL ARSONIST

PAYWALL BUILT FROM POLITICAL DONATIONS BETWEEN US

There’s a firewall between us, Scott. A paywall built with political donations. 

You and your coalition and in truth, the Opposition, don’t want to undermine the mining industry and risk losing votes.

You would rather see us burn in a hell of our own making. You sir, are little more than a political arsonist.

PLUS CA CLIMATE CHANGE, PLUS C’EST LA MEME CHOSE

POLITICAL FOSSILS, FOOLS FUELLING FOSSIL FUELS

Political fossils and fools are fuelling fossil fuels.

No amount of obfuscation or idiotic trite polibabble, feeble excuses or recidivism overlay will erase the historical and political legacy of your failure and the crude reasons behind it — political donations.

Plus ça climate change, plus c'est la même chose.

WHAT OF LORD CHRISTOPHER MONCKTON NOW?

You and your ilk are environmental terrorists. You may well bow to your Lord Jesus. Here, I cast no stone. But what of the likes of that prize git, mining magnate Gina Rinehart’s paid stooge, your Lord Monckton now?

How sad for us, PM. You and your fellow climate change deniers sowed such damage earlier and today we reap the dire consequences of your collective lies and fakery.

UGLY TRUTH BEHIND SCOMO CANCELLING INDIA TRIP

Here’s the ugly truth about Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s cancellation of his taxpayer funded safe passage to India.

It wasn’t simply because against the apocalyptic vision of this climate denier dilettante’s inferno, it wouldn’t have been a good look for ScoMo to go Bollywooding, especially after his pathetic Hawaiian hula hoopIing escapade that will forever define his tenure. No.

And yes, we all knew that talkies about coal was high on the agenda.

REAL REASON WAS SECRET TRYST WITH GAUTAM ADANI, MODI’S BESTIE

Independent Australia has learned there was a more insidious reason for post phoning the trip — a scheduled clandestine tryst with the notorious political influencer Gautam Adani, founder and supremo of the behemoth Adani group.

As with his Hawaiian escapade, Morrison’s office and advisers wanted to keep the meeting secret, knowing full well the media storm it would provoke back home.

Gautam is big daddy to the Galilee Basin’s Adani coal mine — poised to be the world’s biggest. This means that Australia will host the world’s biggest coal polluter and, oops, I nearly forgot, Adani is a bestie of India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi, whose repugnant supremacist bigotry against Muslims gives even Myanmar a sprint for its dirty money.

MODI OPERANDI OF PM NARENDRA BAN MUSLIMS, SHADES OF MYANMAR

Indian sources told IA that Modi was relieved when Morrison cancelled his trip, because the latter’s muslim citizenship ban has triggered national riots and protests, reminiscent of the protests in Hong Kong, especially in Kashmir and amongst students agitating for the restoration of India’s secular society, enshrined in the constitution. 

As with the current palpable animus towards Morrison, Modi who likewise hitherto enjoyed majority support from the electorate, now faces a serious backlash. Like Morrison, he is incurring the wrath of the people and has just cancelled, for the second time, a visit to Assam to attend the Khelo India Youth Games.

The Modi operandi of PM Narendra in pursuit of ‘Hindu First’ is so disappointing, especially for a nation that is forever boasting in official dictums of being the world’s largest democracy. We know a bit about that here in Oz.

We’re told that Modi’s office was not pleased with the strange request from Morrison’s office to release a statement confirming the trip was cancelled. Clearly, our PM was trying to claw back favour with Australians.

A quick shufti on Modi’s website confirms the odd wording – that deliberately doesn’t state who called whom and the tepid wording about the bushfires seem disingenuous.

India’s Lok Sabha, known as the House of the People, is equivalent to our Lower House and recently passed the islamophobic Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019, designed to grant Indian citizenship to refugees from Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Pakistan if they arrived on or before December 31, 2014 —but only if they’re not Muslim. If you’re a Hindu, Sikh, Jain, Parsi or Christian, you’re in.

For some, the bill has translated into shocking police brutality towards protestors and for others, interpreted as Government assent to vilify and attack Muslims.

Waves of violence related to the bill now include dozens of deaths — mostly of Muslims. It should be acknowledged that many of those protesting are secular themselves, like the law they want reinstated. Hearteningly, protestors are clearly drawn from all walks of life, creed and caste. So often, we ordinary people are at odds with our governments.

GAUTAM ADANI AND NARENDRA MODI BOTH GUJURATI MEN

Now this is where things get really hot and cosy between Adani and Modi. Y’see Adani is a Jain, so he’s kosher, but he also happens to be a Gujurati man, like Prime Minister Modi.

In fact, for many years Modi was the Chief Minister for Gujurat and it just happens that 2014 was Modi’s last year in that role before he left to prepare for a lunge at the top job.

Modi left on 22 May, but not without leaving his old mate Adani a handsome and rather substantial farewell "gift" — it was that cheap. 

MODI STATE GOVERNMENT SOLD ADANI STATE LAND FOR PITTANCE

A month before Modi left, India’s Business Standard published an astonishing article revealing that Modi’s Gujurat State Government had sold extraordinary tracts of State land to Adani for ridiculously cheap prices — much cheaper than that sold to other big letterhead businesses, like Tata Motors and Marati Suzuki.

From the Standard:

'Amid campaigning for the Lok Sabha elections, this has become a subject of political debate, with Modi’s opponents alleging the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP’s) prime ministerial candidate gave away land to his friends at throwaway prices as Gujarat chief minister.'

MODI STATE GOVERNMENT GIVES ADANI HUGE MUNDRA PORT IN GUJURAT

And in another fortuitous business handshake, it was whilst Modi was Gujurat’s CM that Adani had the good fortune to take control of operations of the gargantuan Mundra Port in Gujurat.

Now, whilst Modi was relieved at Morrison’s cancelled visit, Gautam Adani was not.

It’s fair to say Adani has tickets on himself and is peeved he has missed out on a photo opportunity with Australia’s Prime Minister Morrison, to show off Mundra Port — especially its coal ferrying capacity.

Insiders say Adani is of the belief Morrison should have continued with his trip to India and would surely have been able to delegate others to "handle" the bushfires apocalypse at home.

Morrison would probably agree with that, given he packed his togs for Hawaii when the nation was already burning.

MIND YOU, THE AUSTRALIAN GOVERNMENT "GAVE" ADANI ABBOT POINT PORT

Of course, let us not forget that Adani was granted a 99-year lease to Australia’s Abbot Point Port in 2011 and in 2016 purchased the operations lease. Seriously?

It is from this Port that coal from Adani’s mine will be shipped. Since no-one can guarantee mishaps, this will unquestionably place the Great Barrier Reef in further environmental jeopardy, and contribute to the inevitable acceleration of our already dying Reef and planet if we do not stop rabid mining of fossil fuels — in this case, the Adani mine.

STOP THE GREAT BARRIER GRIEF! 

The Abbot Point Port is not open for business to transport Adani’s coal alone. Other mining companies will also use this Port, further increasing the risk of killing the Reef.

The Port is perched on the edge of the Reef’s world heritage borders. And we sit on the edge of that world.

We must free ourselves from bondage to the coal mining industry and stop the Great Barrier Grief!

GOOD ADANI OR BADANI?

The Adani brand has proven it simply cannot be trusted and, sadly, neither can the Morrison Government. Or any government, frankly. Adani is Badani for the Great Barrier Reef and the world, insofar as its fossil fuel mining is concerned.

Long before the Coalition greedily gave the Adani mine the nod, the reputation of Gautam Adani – and his widening grid of companies and subsiduaries – were well scarred and battleworn.

HOURS BEFORE MORRISON CANCELLED INDIA TRIP, TOLD ADANI FACES MORE TAX ALLEGATIONS

But that ain’t the half of it. IA can confirm that, virtually hours before Morrison cancelled the trip to India, he got the nod that Adani was yet again to face more allegations; this time it was shonky tax dodging.

As part of a wider probe, India’s Revenue Department (DRI) has been investigating Adani’s alleged claiming of undue generous tax benefits by overstating the value of his coal imports.

And, sure enough, a few day ago, India’s Supreme Court overturned a decision that not only puts Adani back in court, but also gives the DRI the right to question overseas entities and governments that have had dealings with Adani. So will Australia be questioned? We don’t know.

In 2016, Singapore, Hong Kong, the Emirates and the British Virgin Islands were approached for information about Adani.

From India’s Business Standard:

'The DRI alleges that the Adani group companies had overvalued about 1,300 consignments of coal imported from Indonesia to avail tax benefits in India between 2010 and 2016.'

Given that the Australian people, including Indigenous Australians, have so often been denied access to documents and supposedly transparent negotiations and outcomes between Adani and state and federal governments, the DRI’s probe might prove helpful. At the time of writing, the Adani Group is expected to come before the court in less than a fortnight’s time. 

The trite caveat of our governments that the selling/leasing of our assets to foreign companies are entitled to commercial confidentiality, are farcical in the extreme. Why so?

These assets do not belong to governments. They belong to the people. In the first instance, our Indigenous brothers and sisters.

The nonsensical proposition that activists, advocates and campaigners have no right to access these documents is, again, a violation of public entitlement to transparency, especially once the deal is done.

Sources in India and Australia have confirmed there has been feverish contact between the Prime Minister’s office, various officials and intermediaries, Modi and Adani himself. He’s very hands on, is Gautam.

He’s also a survivor. In 1998, along with Shantilal Patel, he was kidnapped for U.S.$1.5 ransom that allegedly was paid into a Hong Kong bank account. Only two years ago, in a Gujurat court, two more men were acquitted of the kidnapping in this curious case.

In 2008, he survived the horrendous Mumbai terrorist attack. At the time, he was having dinner with the then CEO of Dubai Ports World, Mohammed Sharaf, at the famed Taj Hotel, one of the main targets of the bloody atrocity.

HOW MUCH HAS GAUTAM ADANI DONATED TO OZ BUSHFIRE RELIEF?

One wonders how many millions of dollars that Indian billionaire Gautam Adani, who now controls big ticket facilities in Australia and arguably, some within our government(s) has given to the bushfire relief funds? Just asking.

I cannot find any public statement from Gautam Adani about the bushfires tragedy and devastation. Maybe I can’t see for looking.

MURDOCH’S MINIONS — MEDIA ARSONISTS 

One of the great tragedies of my beloved profession is the blatant brown-nosing by Rupert Murdoch’s minions to parrot his fundamentalist, decrepit views and climate change denying through his media outlets. It is simply wrong to indict all News Corp journalists because of this.

But those who egregiously promulgate their master’s voice are sickening and do the nation – and the world – a great disservice. How wonderful it would be if they revolted and, instead, championed the cause to save the earth from the wrongs and injustice we alone have wrought upon it.

We are mere minutes to midnight on this. And as well as our political leaders rightly subjected to ridicule, so too is the Murdoch press, for its inane but dangerous promulgating of falsehoods.

This blistering critique by New York Times bureau chief Damien Cave, based in Sydney, says it all.

Here’s a taste:

'His standard-bearing national newspaper, The Australian, has also repeatedly argued that this year’s fires are no worse than those of the past — not true, scientists say, noting that 12 million acres have burned so far, with 2019 alone scorching more of New South Wales than the previous 15 years combined.'

A special shout out to whistleblower Emily Townsend, then of News Corp who’d clearly had a gutful and called out the “irresponsible" coverage of the bushfires in an email she circulated to colleagues.

Many of us who are victims of bushfires in various ways – and we are legion – find this constant denial of the facts both infuriating and demoralising.

In 2012, IA published my article headlined 'Charred hearts and incinerated souls', recalling the devastating Tasmanian 1967 bushfires. There have been more since, as on the mainland.

Last year, in an interview with Sam Wilkinson, broadcast on ABC News Radio, I broke down when recounting how our beloved dogs were burned alive, as in today’s fires — people and creatures great and small alike.

“I said that I was going to burn for you and so I am…”  ~ Scott Morrison

I remember that, after his May election win, Scott Morrison ironically said he would “burn for the Australian people every single day”.

He’s done nothing of the sort. A national and immediate response to the bushfire crisis should have been deployed last year in collaboration with the states and territories. This is a matter of foresight, not hindsight.

This week's announcement of $50 million for wildlife and environmental groups is welcome — but too late for those that could have been saved had these groups had more resources earlier.

When the blood red fog of our unwinnable coal war with nature subsides a little, Scott Morrison, and you stand amongst the ashes and charred corpses, I hope you have the political courage to call a halt to Adani Mining’s Carmichael coal mine. Pay them out. It would be less costly to the world than the alternative.

Be a leader ScoMo. Help to save Australia. Help to save the Earth. It’s the only one we’ve got. 

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