Thousands protest across Australia against Adani mine

Nearly 70% of Australians oppose government loan for Adani mine – poll

Large protests were held across Australia on Saturday against Indian mining giant Adani Enterprises’ proposed 16.5 billion dollars armichael coal mine, which would be the country’s largest coal mine but has been delayed for years over environmental and financing issues.

Rallies in locations including Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne, the Gold Coast and Port Douglas in North Queensland heard messages against Indian company Adani’s proposed mine in the Galilee Basin.

The “Stop Adani” movement organised 45 protests. Protesters spelled out ‘#STOP ADANI’ by standing in formation on the sand.

Adani and the Queensland government argue the mine will be a boon for jobs in regional Queensland. Both state and federal governments have defended the approval process, with Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk maintaining the project will bring much-needed jobs and the company will be held to account.

However, the environment groups say the mine in Queensland State would contribute to global warming and damage the Great Barrier Reef.

On the sands of Sydney’s Bondi Beach, more than 1,000 people formed a human sign saying ‘Stop Adani’, said organiser Blair Palese from activist group 350.

“I think there’s a very real national concern that goes beyond Queensland about the idea of giving this mine a billion-dollar taxpayer-funded loan,” she said.

Australians are mostly opposed to Adani’s Carmichael coalmine, and even more strongly opposed to it getting any government assistance, according to a poll released on Sunday.

The ReachTel poll, commissioned by The Australia Institute, also shows Australians think a loan to Adani from the Northern Australian Infrastructure Facility would damage the country’s reputation – a fact that if “likely” to be true, would make the loan unlawful.

“This polling shows not just that taxpayer subsidies for Adani are deeply unpopular, but that more Australians oppose than support the mine going ahead, regardless of subsidies,” said the deputy director of the Australia Institute, Ebony Bennett.

Analysts have raised doubts about whether Adani can fund the mine, at an initial cost of $4 billion, given a global backlash to investment in fossil fuels.

Adani says the project would pay billions of dollars in royalties and taxes, create jobs and export coal to India help bring electricity to rural regions.

Adani has been counting on a A$900 million ($704 million) loan from the Northern Australian Infrastructure Facility (NAIF) for a rail link to the proposed mine.

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About the Author: Akhtar Jamal

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