A national day of action to oppose the proposed Carmichael coal mine has seen thousands of protesters turn out in locations across Australia.
Rallies in locations including Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne, the Gold Coast and Port Douglas in North Queensland heard messages against Indian company Adani’s proposed mine in the Galilee Basin.
Adani has promised thousands of local jobs but opponents say the project will fuel global warming and destroy the Great Barrier Reef.
— James Hancock (@jameshancockABC) October 7, 2017
The ABC’s Four Corners program on Monday revealed alleged cases of bribery, corruption and environmentally destructive behaviour by the Adani Group in India.
Adani is seeking a $900-million loan from taxpayers so it can build the railway line from the proposed mine site in the Galilee Basin to the Abbot Point coal port.
“If this mine does go ahead it drives us into a dirty future and Australia is a country that’s smarter than that,” said Simon Fosterling, a Bondi surf life saver at the Sydney protest, which attracted about 2,000 people.
“I have a two-year-old daughter and I don’t want to have a conversation with her in 10 years time and the mine’s gone ahead and she says to me, ‘dad, why didn’t you do something?'”
Protesters spelled out ‘#STOP ADANI’ by standing in formation on the sand.
Both state and federal governments have defended the approval process, with Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk maintaining the project will bring much-needed jobs and the company will be held to account.
“You only have to travel to regional Queensland to understand what this project means to thousands of families out there that will be employed through this project,” she said.
Ms Palaszczuk said on Saturday that although people were entitled to protest, her Government was ensuring environmental conditions were met.
“That’s a matter for people, they’re allowed to protest, we live in a democracy,” she said.
“At the end of the day we have the toughest environmental conditions attached to that mine.”
Queensland Minister for Natural Resources and Mines Anthony Lynham said the mine would be subject to “strict monitoring” throughout the construction process.
Sydney Stop Adani campaigner Isaac Astill called the construction of the mine an international issue.
“It’s going to be the biggest coal mine in the southern hemisphere at a time when our climate is crumbling,” Mr Astill said.
It’s an international issue and that’s why we’re seeing people around the world and in Australia coming out in their thousands to say no to Adani.”
About 2,000 people rallied in Melbourne’s Princes Park carrying placards reading ‘Coal=CO2!!!’ and ‘Protect Our Future’.
— Tom Forbes (@tomforbesGC) October 7, 2017
Australian Conservation Foundation CEO Kelly O’Shanassy said she hoped the “big day of action” would send a strong message that taxpayers did not want their money subsidising the project.
“It will affect every single living thing on Earth, that’s why people in Melbourne and Sydney and Canberra and Adelaide and Cairns all care about this mine not going ahead.” Ms O’Shanassy said.
At Miami on the Gold Coast around 200 people turned out to oppose the mine.
“We know how important this is and we know there’s a growing movement and more and more people are realising how desperately we need this to stop,” said Shane Primrose of the Stop Adani Gold Coast group.
Between 200-300 people turned out at Perth’s Cottesloe Beach and more than 250 people rallied in Hobart, where speakers included former Greens leader Bob Brown.
Adani has promised thousands of local jobs for Townsville and Rockhampton residents to work on the massive mine in the Galilee Basin, splitting its fly-in-fly-out (FIFO) workforce between the two cities, and has promised to pay each council a rebate if it hires a non-local.
The protests were organised by the Stop Adani Alliance, which is made up of 31 organisations.