Coal not the an­swer

Seymour Telegraph - - NEWS -

The Adani coal pro­posal in the Carmichael basin raises some se­ri­ous is­sues and con­tra­dic­tions.

Prime Min­is­ter Mal­colm Turn­bull is busy in In­dia shak­ing hands with Adani, say­ing a ‘‘$1 bil­lion rail­way tax­payer loan will be duly as­sessed with no spe­cial treat­ment’’.

This is a joke. He has de­clared his hand.

Par­lia­ment ear­lier this year rushed through a bill declar­ing this pro­ject was of na­tional im­por­tance. Don’t ex­pect any­thing but a skewed as­sess­ment, I’d sug­gest.

The very pub­lic shak­ing of Adani’s hand is a dan­ger­ous sig­nal.

What about car­bon emis­sions, in min­ing and burn­ing coal? Ninety-seven per cent of cli­mate sci­en­tists say that all re­main­ing coal should ‘‘stay in the ground’’ if we are to ad­dress cli­mate change and keep global warm­ing to less than 20°°C (as Aus­tralia agreed to do in Paris and the CoP21 agree­ment we signed).

Car­bon emis­sions are di­rectly con­tribut­ing to the death of our na­tional as­set, the Great Bar­rier Reef, a big tourism rev­enue earner.

The Prime Min­is­ter makes no men­tion that the Bar­rier Reef last year suf­fered more coral bleach­ing than ever be­fore.

The reef is dy­ing as the sea tem­per­a­tures rise. This is at­trib­uted to car­bon emis­sions, and coal is the pri­mary cause.

Then there is fur­ther reef dam­age from dredg­ing through the reef for coal ships.

The Prime Min­is­ter knows this, but chooses a ‘‘busi­ness as usual’’ path. This pro­ject pro­posal is any­thing but.

Tax rev­enue, or min­ing roy­al­ties? Adani, as an In­dian com­pany, has its of­fices in Sin­ga­pore (not In­dia), with the par­ent com­pany in the Cay­man Is­lands, a tax haven.

It’s hard to be­lieve Adani will be pay­ing much at all for the Carmichael coal.

Aus­tralian pol­icy ap­pears all over the place in its des­per­a­tion to mine coal be­fore it be­comes a mas­sive stranded as­set.

We are not a good global cit­i­zen with such hypocrisy.

If we are se­ri­ously in­ter­ested in help­ing In­dia’s en­ergy chal­lenges, part­ner­ships in re­new­able en­ergy is the clean op­tion, and it’s where the smart in­vest­ment is go­ing. We must stop Adani while we can and show some na­tional vi­sion for a fu­ture we can recog­nise, a smarter Aus­tralia in­vest­ing in jobs across the coun­try in lo­cal re­new­able en­ergy gen­er­a­tion and own­er­ship. Coal is no an­swer. — Peter Lock­yer, BEAM Mitchell Environment Group sec­re­tary

Sad story from the army

A C Com­pany, 8RAR, Enog­gera, June 1971 — Cap­tain Hall de­nied Pri­vate Jano Gul­jas, 21, a leave pass to travel to Mel­bourne to wel­come his beloved sis­ter at the pier when her boat came in from Yu­goslavia.

He hadn’t seen her since seven years ear­lier when, from the ship’s stern, he had waved her good­bye as he was Aus­tralia-bound with his par­ents.

His sis­ter had re­mained in Yu­goslavia with her un­cle and aunt be­cause in 1964 the Com­mu­nist au­thor­i­ties wouldn’t per­mit a 16-year-old girl to leave the coun­try.

Jano was fair-haired, played the guitar and was full of fun, but didn’t read or write English.

Un­for­tu­nately, on the way to the Night Owl for some hot ca­bana at mid­night af­ter the Fri­day night party, the Cortina, driven by a newl­yarrived drunk­ard sol­dier from 1RAR, crashed into the Alder­ley cor­ner power pole. The driver was killed.

Jano was co­matosed in the Royal Bris­bane Hos­pi­tal when his heart­bro­ken sis­ter and par­ents ar­rived.

At I Mil. Yeronga Army Hos­pi­tal, I thanked the nurses for tak­ing care of the skin and bone Jano shortly be­fore he died on Au­gust 12, 1971.

Sol­diers from Puck­a­pun­yal fired the salute over Na­tional Ser­vice­man Pri­vate Jano Gul­jas’ grave at the Al­tona Me­mo­rial Park.

Cap­tain Hall wrote a com­pre­hen­sive his­tory: Com­bat Bat­tal­ion; the 8th Bat­tal­ion in Vietnam, but in my eyes he was un­fit to be an Aus­tralian Army cap­tain. Jano Gul­jas, rest in peace. — John J. Ma­her,


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