Miners dig in for clash with ‘ rich’ activists
THE mining industry is heading towards a huge clash with activists who now claim whole sections of the community have been “radicalised” against coal, which remains Queensland’s biggest export.
The industry is continuing to raise questions about where the groups get their funding after it was revealed that the most active groups have a combined revenue of $ 100 million. One in d u s t r y leader said the activists had “spectacularly failed” because several coal mines had reopened and a new $ 1.6 billion mine is now in development.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull told the LNP conference at the weekend that people who say coal and other fossil fuels had no future were delusional. But six years after the activist blueprint “Stopping the coal export boom” was written, one of its authors, John Hepburn, said the clash was only going to get bigger.
“The community movement to stop new coal and gas projects such as the Adani mine is growing every day and will only get bigger as climate change impacts become impossible to ignore,” Mr Hepburn said.
“The mining industry tries to dismiss its opponents as radical greenies, but this doesn’t work because the movement against coal and gas is far more diverse than that and is grounded in the heart of the communities that are impacted.
“It includes farmers, business people, scientists and everyday folk who have been radicalised by the arrogance of an industry that is threatening their future.”
Queensland Resource Council chief executive Ian Macfarlane said the only success the activists had was in slowing everything down.
“If their goal was to slow things down and destroy the economy then they have probably had some success, but only from a destructive point of view,’’ he said.
“It certainly has had an impact but not the one they seek. It’s just economic vandalism.”