Local community group Stop Adani Canberra, gathered today at the National Press Club for the address by Minister Matt Canavan, say Canavan’s plan for a coal taskforce represents a desperate attempt to rescue an unreliable, expensive and dying industry.
Great-grandmother June Norman, 77, of Stop Adani Brisbane, held up a “Stop Adani” banner and called for ‘no public funding for Adani’ at the start of Canavan’s address. PHOTOS of the action outside the event are available at Stop Adani Flickr.
The Stop Adani movement is demanding that the Coalition not use the Export Finance and Investment Corporation (EFIC) to support Adani’s polluting mine.
In 2013, Ms Norman, then 72, walked 1200km along the Queensland coast from Cairns to Gladstone to raise awareness of mining and port expansion impacts on the Great Barrier Reef. Ms Norman said, “Matt Canavan’s Resources 2030 Taskforce is stacked with deep-pocket mining industry representatives who will do their best to maximise their offshore profits at the expense of Australians who time after time say they want public and private investment in clean energy, like solar and wind power.”
“If the Minister for Adani, Matt Canavan, was serious about securing the future of North Queensland, he would be supporting Queensland’s growing renewable energy industry, and saving our iconic Great Barrier Reef. Adani’s coal mine will destroy the livelihoods of thousands of people in rural Queensland and along the coast, through its impacts on groundwater supplies and the Reef,” Ms Norman said.
Earlier, outside the National Press Club, Stop Adani supporters demanded that the Federal Government stop trying to source public funding for the Adani coal mine and withdraw its support from the project, which would be one of the world’s biggest new coal mines.
“We will not let Adani build this mine, nor will we let the Australian Government pour public money down the drain of this terrible investment. It is way past time to stop building new coal mines,” Ms Norman said.
Minister for Resources and Northern Australia, Matt Canavan, is one of the strongest defenders of the Adani mine within the Federal Government. Earlier in March, Canavan spoke in Washington about the importance of the Adani mine and fossil fuel expansion in Australia.
Adani have admitted that the largely mechanised mine will generate less than 1500 jobs. Digging the mine threatens around 69,000 tourism jobs that rely on a healthy Great Barrier Reef, and risks additional jobs in agriculture through irreversible damage to aquifers of the Great Artesian Basin.
Adani missed its March financing deadline and will not commit to a new one. Adani has so far failed to secure Australian or international financing, with 28 banks ruling out lending to the project. Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has blocked taxpayer funding from the Northern Australia Infrastructure Fund of its rail line. However, the Coalition is still looking to provide up to $1billion of public funding to Adani, potentially through the Export Finance and Insurance Corporation (EFIC).
The mine would contribute to global climate change, sea level rise and ocean acidification through the estimated 25 million tonnes of coal per annum it could produce.