Adani mine divides but plastic unites Entsch and Leu

POLITICS

Howard Salkow

Senior Journalist

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The Coral not Coal anti-Adani protests on Four Mile Beach held in 2017. Image: Newsport.
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As pressure mounts on the Queensland Government to decide whether to proceed with the Adani coalmine, the Douglas Shire Council is standing firm that the project does not meet its strong environmental charter.

Following the recent Federal election where Labor’s poor showing was linked to the future of the mine, there has been considerable pressure on the State Government to decide the fate of the mine. A decision is expected within three weeks.

The Carmichael coal mine is a proposed thermal coal mine in the north of the Galilee Basin in Central Queensland. Mining is planned to be conducted by both open-cut and underground methods.

The mine is proposed by Adani Mining, a wholly owned subsidiary of India's Adani Group. The development was initially intended to represent a $16.5bn investment, however, after being refused financing by over 30 financial institutions worldwide, Adani announced in 2018 that the mining operation would be downsized and self-funded to $2bn.

In a statement to Newsport, Douglas Shire Mayor Julia Leu said Council will continue striving to protect its most precious natural assets because the tourism industry depends on it.

“While this project does not directly impact our region, its approval is at odds with Council’s strong environmental charter and I imagine we will all one day be impacted by any predicted contributions to climate change that the Adani coal mine project could cause.

“The Great Barrier Reef and the Daintree National Park are key drivers of tourism, which represents about 80% of economic activity within Douglas annually, so it would be irresponsible for us to support any project that could have a negative impact, either directly or indirectly, on these natural wonders,” said Mayor Leu.

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

He has 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 has 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.
Mayor Leu, meanwhile, has welcomed Entsch's appointment as special envoy for the Great Barrier Reef.

“I welcome his appointment. It is great to see our local member putting our precious Great Barrier Reef in the national spotlight,” she said.

In terms of his priorities, Mayor Leu said as stewards of Plastic Free Douglas, Council strongly supports and commends Warren’s crusade to phase out single-use plastic.

“Council was instrumental in advocating for getting rid of single-use plastic at supermarkets and I think this is a fantastic initiative for Warren to focus on.

“I also look forward to working with Warren to continue promoting the Great Barrier Reef as a world-class tourist attraction.”


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