THE CITIZEN BUREAU | 18 MARCH, 2017
Ian, Greg Chappell Join Protests Against Adani Mine in Australia
NEW DELHI: Cricket legends Ian and Greg Chappell have joined the large scale protests against Industrialist Gautam Adani’s $16.5 billion Carmichael mine project in Australia.
The cricketers joined the protestors and well known personalities in demanding that the Adani’s abandon the mine project. At least 76 prominent persons have signed an open letter against the controversial project, urging Gautam Adani to call it off.
The Adani group, however, continues to claim that the protest is motivated by a “small” group and rejected the demand altogether.
Instead in a statement that is clearly an attempt to control the damage the Adani group claimed, "Adani Group, a global integrated infrastructure conglomerate, today hosted a high-level delegation led by Annastacia Palaszczuk, Premier of Queensland, Australia, at Mundra Port who reaffirmed Queensland government's commitment to the $16.5 billion Carmichael mine project.”
The Adani’s have taken the Australian delegation for an India tour including the Miundra Port.
The Citizen had carried an extensive report on this controversial project http://www.thecitizen.in/index.php/OldNewsPage/?Id=9582&Adani
Adani Mining is a subsidiary of the Adani Group, an Indian multinational with operations in India, Indonesia and Australia cutting across resources, logistics, energy, agribusiness and real estate. In March, the company announced its first foray into the defence industry.
Adani’s Carmichael project envisions a 40km long, 10km wide mine consisting of six open-cut pits and five underground operating for up to sixty years. The company intends to transport the coal to India to aid in that country’s electricity needs. According to the International Energy Agency, 244 million Indians – 19 percent of the population – are without access to electricity.
Should the project go ahead, it would be the largest coal operation here – Australia is already a major coal producing and exporting nation – and among the biggest in the world, producing some 60 million tonnes of thermal coal annually at peak capacity.
But at a time when global warming is a significant threat to humanity, the Carmichael mine is generating substantial opposition. Since the project was announced in 2010, there have been more than ten appeals and judicial processes against the mine.
Adani plans to significantly expand the Abbot Point terminal in order to ship larger amounts of coal. This means dredging up the sea floor right next to the Great Barrier Reef.
“The Carmichael coal mine will have a domino effect of bad impacts on the reef, from driving the need for port expansion and more dredging and dumping to increasing the risk of shipping accidents on the reef,” says Cherry Muddle from the Australian Marine Conservation Society.
The reef’s tourism industry provides some 65,000 jobs, with numerous operators also speaking out against both the Carmichael mine and the Abbot Point expansion in recent times.
Despite Minister Lynham’s assurances that “200 stringent conditions placed on this project through its court processes” will protect the reef, others remain extremely concerned.
“Adani has a really worrying track record of environmental destruction, human rights abuses, corruption and tax evasion,” says Adam Black from GetUp, a movement which campaigns on a range of progressive issues.
Among the accusations leveled at Adani operations in India in a 2015 report by Environmental Justice Australia are the destruction of mangroves; failure to prevent salt water intrusion into groundwater; bribery and illegal iron ore exports; using political connections to purchase land cheaply; and obtaining illegal tax deductions.