Australians know Adani doesn't “stack up" environmentally or economically and it won’t stack up for the Morrison Government politically either. Simon Black reports.
DESPITE BEING A MINE, not a policy, the seething rage we are seeing from the Australian population at the continued insistence at driving the Adani coal mine down our throats reminds me increasingly of the mood of late 2005.
The Adani project is becoming a single thing that unifies people and embodies unfairness and contempt from politicians who insist they know better than their constituents and pander to big business at their expense, time and time again.
Despite poll after poll after poll showing that the overwhelming majority of Australians do not want this destructive project, we are simply fobbed off and dismissed as not understanding how good it is going to be for us.
And people are angry. Enraged. Furious.
Adani has been caught polluting protected wetlands, possibly even doctoring reports, for which the Government aren’t so much slapping them with a piece of wet lettuce as they are waving the lettuce in a slightly menacing fashion, while furiously winking with one side of their face.
They have been taken to court for polluting the Great Barrier Reef, they are being investigated for illegal drilling into groundwater at the mine site and their claims about job numbers have been rejected — by their own economist.
Add that to a very long history of unsavoury behaviour and there is little wonder there is public outrage that this project is in danger of being forced upon Australians.
News this week shows that Adani recognises this as well — and it's trying to get the project moving before the election, in defiance of the will of the Australian people.
It looks like they will do this by sneakily getting their foot in the door with a smaller and self-funded version to jump start this dangerous and irresponsible project. Something they have been forced to do because no financial institution both in Australia and overseas would touch it with a ten-foot pole. The multi-billion dollar multinational had resorted to begging the Federal Government for $1 billion on top of the royalty scheme it had already been granted, but that a massive public backlash left that dead in the water.
Adani is going to put up its own money. In an Australian coal market that has, as another report that came out on the same day showed, peaked and is now in a state of 'terminal long-term decline'.
And that’s the point.
This is a last-ditch dash from a company who recognise all too well how publically toxic this project is.
The Liberal Party were shown this in their humiliating defeat in the Wentworth by-election. Despite attempting to blame Malcolm Turnbull and dismissing Wentworth as an outlier, Dave Sharma couldn’t go anywhere without being hounded on climate change by Stop Adani forces.
Annastacia Palaszczuk was reminded of that outrage as well when she tweeted in support of action on climate change — the issue that voters in Wentworth identified as their number one concern. Despite the issue swinging farther and farther away from her political opponents, it’s a no-brainer to know any tweet would be met with howls of outrage about Adani — which is exactly what happened.
This pressure is only going to increase with the Australian Youth Climate Coalition this week releasing a tool to show exactly where local Labor representatives stand on the issue.
This project is not only toxic, but it is also becoming a focal point for governments' refusal to take action on climate change and ignoring the Australian people to pander to big coal companies.
The Adani project cannot be allowed to go ahead. It is insanity incarnated and a nightmare for the region, the country, and the world.
The mine will take unlimited groundwater and 12.5 billion litres of river water, while 57 per cent of Queensland is drought declared. The water plans from the company are grossly inadequate and the Federal and Queensland governments must stop them.
The mine will fuel climate change and even the United Nations has urged us to reconsider.
It all adds up to a putrid picture. The spills, the pollution, the water license, the history overseas, the fight against Indigenous land rights, the fake social accounts.
Yes. People are angry. They are right to be.
'Adani ... embodies unfairness and contempt from politicians who insist they know better than their constituents and pander to big business at their expense.'
Adani says they want to avoid the mine being an election issue. They are trying to get it done before the upcoming elections because they know any politicians who do not reject this project outright will be punished for it by a disgusted Australian public.
Well, it’s too late for that.
Millions of Australians are already furious. But more than that they are already taking action. They know this project doesn't “stack up" environmentally or economically, as politicians are fond of saying.
It won’t stack up for them politically either. It will cost them dearly, just as it cost them in Wentworth.
Coal and the Adani mine belong in our past. They don’t deserve to be discussed as they are in the present, and they sure as hell aren’t our future.
It’s time for leaders to lead. Step up and step away from this project. Come up with better answers to questions about employment and prosperity or get out of the way.
Lead us into the future, not the past.
Simon Black is the senior media campaigner for Greenpeace Australia Pacific. You can follow Simon on Twitter @mrsimblaa.
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