BY ANITA SENARATNA
On Saturday October 7, thousands of Australians will be donning red and black and forming human signs saying ‘STOP ADANI’ on beaches and parks across the country to protest the Indian mining conglomerate’s proposed coal mine in Queensland’s Galilee Basin.
In Sydney, the local branch of the Stop Adani campaign have organised events in Bondi and Newtown.
The proposed Carmichael mine will be the biggest of its kind in the world. QLD Premier Anastasia Palaszczuk is defending the project on the grounds that it will create over 10,000 jobs for regional Queenslanders, a figure that has since been revealed to be realistically closer to 1500.
But the Adani group are notorious in India for openly defying local environmental laws, bribing officials for legal protection and sending money through tax havens like the Virgin Islands and Mauritius, to avoid paying local taxes.
The event follows a damning Four Corners‘ report on the Adani group, which aired on October 2. Reporter Stephen Long and producer Wayne Harley travelled to various mining towns and ports across India where Adani was mining coal. They spoke to local families about the impact the mines had on their health and witnessed the devastation caused to landscapes.
But most interestingly, the story was cut short by Indian police showing up at their hotel and questioning the journalists on and off for about five hours before eventually letting them leave with their footage.
Given Adani’s record overseas, environmental groups in Australia are concerned about the effect the Carmichael mine will have on the area’s natural resources. Local farmers with land near the Galilee Basin are worried about the impact on water quality, particularly cattle farmers whose livelihood is connected to having drinkable water available for cattle.
According to Stop Adani’s Facebook page, the aim of the event is, “To place an unprecedented amount of heat on our politicians to rule out giving $1 billion loan of taxpayers money to Adani.”
At last count, over 1000 people had shown interest in each event on Facebook.
The day of action will kick off at 9am sharp on Bondi Beach, an Australian landmark in Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s electorate of Wentworth.
“1000 of us are going to spell it out for Turnbull. He won’t be able to ignore us,” says the Bondi event’s Facebook page.
The protest will shift to Newtown’s Camperdown Memorial Rest Park at 2pm. Like the Bondi event, this location was a deliberate choice as it borders the electorates of two more Federal MPs, Labor’s Tanya Plibersek and Anthony Albanese. Both politicians had been invited to the events, but declined to attend.