Address to Tweed Shire Councillors 19 April 2018 from Barry Firth, on behalf of Stop Adani Tweed

My purpose this evening is to demonstrate and declare that the Stop Adani movement is strong in Tweed Shire, and to ask respectfully for your vote this evening in favour of what we call the “Adani-free zone”.

We are part of an Australia-wide network of groups like us. The issues that are to do with the proposed massive expansion of coal mining and export in Queensland are of national and global importance. They affect us all.

The latest news from climate science is that the great ocean current known as the Gulf Stream is slowing down. It has already slowed by 15%. This foreshadows changes in the global climate beyond what we have seen so far.

The scientists have been saying for a long time now that we need to “keep it in the ground”.  Unfortunately, we collectively have become a bit too good at not listening to them.

Australia did sign the Paris Climate Agreement, though you would hardly know. Of the 52 countries that signed, our level of commitment to reduction of greenhouse gas emissions was ranked second-last. Even this modest level of commitment is not going to be met, for want of truly purposeful leadership.

On the other hand, we, the people on the ground and representatives of local government, know that stronger action is required. Shire Councils know that if they issue a building permit in an inundation zone they will be sued at a later date. The people here are apprehensive about the prospect of more severe flooding and dry spells. It’s up to us to do the work, and to communicate our concerns upwards.

There is no up-side to the Adani coal mining and export proposal. The Galilee Basin has always been too remote to permit economical shipment. Finance for the project cannot be obtained from any reputable source. The market in India does not exist, and the Bangladeshis only found out “yesterday” that they might be a market; other markets in China, Japan and Korea are already contractually bound to coal shipments from Newcastle. The employment opportunities have been consistently over-stated. The concessions already granted to Adani for water rights and deferral of royalty payments are obscene. The Adani group has an appalling social and environmental record in its own country, and we should ask the question whether it’s appropriate for our governments to even talk with them. And so forth!

You might think that operations at the Adani site are pretty quiet right now. But our people up there are saying that drilling is happening, to establish the drainage systems for de-watering the mine site.

We would stop them if we could!

We have written to Minister Matt Canavan saying that the Northern Australia Development plan would be better without Adani, and declaring our opposition to new coal mines.

We have written to the Hon. Bill Shorten to ask him to closely scrutinise the Adani contracts, while praising the work being done within the ALP towards developing a transition plan and asserting our preference for a policy of no new coal mines.  We have met with our local MP, Justine Elliot, who says that she is on our side. She also told us that she would be prepared to make a new public statement in favour of our cause at an appropriate event. (We are working on that!)

Please vote “Yes” this evening, to establish our “Adani-free zone”. It’s going to help!

Stop Adani Tweed is a project of Caldera Environment Centre, 4 Queen Street, Murwillumbah 2484

**** And here is the Echonetdaily article 19 April 2018