It has been wonderful to see such enormous support in our region for the #StopAdani campaign, from the launch in April to the summit last Saturday. This is hardly surprising. If any issue is likely to unite people across a broad social and political spectrum, it is this proposal to build a mega coal mine in size from Port to Kempsey nine kilometres wide, with unlimited free access to underground water, trampling of indigenous land rights and those of local farmers, and guaranteed to hasten the death of Australia’s favourite natural icon the Reef by adding millions of tonnes of planetary-destroying carbon into the atmosphere.
Add to this Adani’s environmental and workplace record in India and complex tax structures that will surely rule out any tax payable here, a royalty holiday costing Queenslanders $370 million, and the proposed federal government gift of taxpayers’ money amounting to $1 billion dollars, and the enormity of this folly is clear for all to see. It is shocking and it is wrong and we are opposing it. Two thirds of Australians oppose it too.
This issue is helping to unite us, grow our numbers, and get to know new friends. Yet even when we are successful in stopping Adani, there will still be other battles in our fight for safe climate and more clean energy. We will continue to face challenges as long as we have a government in Canberra showing such intransigence, blocking us ever having an energy system fit for the era we live in and less still a climate policy with any chance of reducing Australia’s emissions. Future generations will look back at the time we are living in now. The kind of future they look from, and the story they tell about our period, will be shaped by choices we make. That’s why it’s so good to be an activist - someone who is active for a purpose bigger than personal gain (Joanna Macy and Chris Johnstone, Active Hope, 2012).
We all need to ask, at some time in our lives - ‘What is my gift to the world? What am I leaving for future generations?’ Our safe climate and clean energy group has been my answer to that question for over ten years, particularly since I retired from full-time work in 2012. To all of you who travelled that journey with me, no matter how recently you have come on board, I say ‘thank you’ and see you at the next #StopAdani event!