Time to act
THE court decision overturning the Federal Government’s rushed approval of the Adani Carmichael Mine in the Galilee Basin, followed by CommBank’s withdrawal of any funding for this project, gave the government the opportunity to re-examine its support for this controversial proposal and look again at a better jobs future for Australia.
Instead of taking on board the legitimate concerns about climate change and looking at supporting renewable energy, it is attacking community environmental groups and the courts, and continues to make exaggerated claims about the benefits of this environmentally dangerous and financially risky mine.
Now they want to take away the right of environmentalists and farmers to legally challenge government approvals of mining or any developments that will impact on all of us.
Not only did the ‘Environment’ Minister (who might be called the Mining Minister, considering the number of new mines he has approved) overlook significant environmental threats to several endangered species that could be made extinct by this project, he didn’t consider Adani’s damaging environmental record in India and he ignored its projected impact on CO2 emissions and climate change, the biggest threat to our Great Barrier Reef.
Instead of the 10,000 jobs still spruiked by our PM, Adani’s own economic experts have admitted less than 1500 jobs would be created.
Adani had also admitted in court that it overstated possible royalties by 300%; and inflated its investment commitment, now in greater doubt that over 11 major banks have withdrawn their funding.
The idea that this coal will improve the lives of the poor in India is painfully absurd, as these lower caste people don’t have the money to pay for electricity, much less the appliances of the middle classes.
The idea that such mines are necessary for Australian jobs is equally weak, as this dying industry is expanding its automation, getting more out of the ground with less and less workers, yet putting at risk over 60,000 jobs on the reef.
More healthy jobs would be created with serious government support for renewable energy; building solar thermal power plants, wind farms, tidal power and more, all destined to grow with the undeniable increase in climate problems.
While many of your readers don’t want to believe the science behind these threatening climatic predictions, and it appears the government is also in denial, we will have to confront these issues and take serious action before social and political instability overtakes many countries around the world.
It is well past time for Australia to become a leader in innovation and alternative energy, while it still can. Jonathan Peter, Airlie Beach