Representative opinion at odds over Adani Mine


Victoria Stone-Meadows


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UNITED: Douglas Shire protesters spell "Coral not Coal" on Four Mile Beach in October last year. Image: Newsport.

Community representatives have expressed mixed reactions to the news the Adani Australia Carmichael Mine will begin construction before Christmas.

The India-based mining company announced yesterday that the open-cut coal mine in central Queensland will be completely self-financed.

The group announced the mine will ramp up operations over time until they are processing 27.5 million metric tonnes of coal per annum.

This announcement follows eight years of planning for the group whose mine has attracted controversy and opposition from all over the county.

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Douglas Shire Council Mayor Julia Leu said the council are disappointed the mine will go ahead as it has the potential to harm the region’s natural splendours.

“Douglas Shire Council has been strong advocates against the Adani Mine,” she said.

“The spectacular Great Barrier Reef, which has been putting on an impressive coral spawning show this week, does not need to be carelessly threatened.

“More than 1000 people attended a “Stop Adani, Coral not Coal” protest at Four Mile Beach in Port Douglas in October last year.

“Council has also written to the Prime Minister, the Queensland Premier, the Federal Minister for Environment and Energy and also the Queensland Minister for Environment and Heritage Protection and Minister for National Parks and the Great Barrier Reef to outline its opposition to coal mining in the Galilee Basin.”

Cr Leu said the Carmichael Mine has potentially devastating effects on the Great Barrier Reef and Daintree Rainforest, which represent about 80 per cent of economic activity within Douglas annually.

“Economic estimates have tourism worth more than $670 million to the Douglas Shire economy and responsible for more than 2000 full time jobs,” he said.

“This project has the potential to adversely impact the Great Barrier Reef and pollute the atmosphere to contribute to climate change, which inadvertently impacts the Douglas Shire as custodians of two World-Heritage listed natural icons.”

Meanwhile, Federal MP for Leichhardt Warren Entsch described the mine as a “win-win-win” for people in Queensland’s far north.

He claimed the jobs created by the mine will see money flowing in the northern region and will lift prospects for struggling central Queensland towns.

“The state government made the decision to approve the mine and, at end of the day, irrespective of the numbers protestors put up, there will be significant jobs available from this project,” he said.

“Last year the resources sector injected $62.9 billion into the Queensland economy and this project will mean many more billions of dollars.

“This pays for hospitals, police, and education – this is where that money comes from.”

Mr Entsch said the economic benefits from the mine will see increased investment and activity in the Douglas Shire.

While Mr Entsch championed the economic effects of the mine, he was clear to point out the state government approved the mine and he sees a future in renewable energy sources. 

“I absolutely believe in climate change, I have no issue what-so-ever with the science of that and I do believe in alternative energy sources, of course, absolutely,” he said.

“100 per cent of the coal from this mine will be shipped to India and China.

“The fact is for every ton of coal that goes into an Indian or Chinese furnace, there will be a 50% per cent reduction in emissions because what we have is higher quality coal.

“We will as a society look at transitions to alternative energy sources but that might take two or three decades to do.

“This decision, based on science and facts, will lead to cleaner coal and get people out of poverty and reduce overall emissions.”

A Queensland Government Spokesperson said this announcement from Adani is different to other in recent times but assures no tax-payer money will go towards the project.

“This isn’t the first time we have heard Adani announce that this project will proceed,” the spokesperson said.

“This announcement involves a rail corridor that will require, among other things, agreements with existing users and the operator.

“No taxpayers’ money will go towards this project.”



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