Carlo’s Corner: Let’s destroy the Great Barrier Reef already

June 15, 2012
The Great Barrier Reef is great big goddamn barrier to ships carrying coal and gas from Queensland.

Tony Abbott is right: we can't allow a “Green veto” to hold back a huge expansion in the Queensland coal export industry.

For Christ’s sake, let's just destroy the Great Barrier Reef already. The name gives it away. The reef is a great big goddamn barrier to the 10,000 coal and gas carrying ships Greenpeace say could go through it under new mine-and-port expansion plans approved by the Queensland Liberal National Party government.

You can sense the impatience of the Liberals to do away with the bloody thing. Being a party of climate change sceptics, they are just not convinced by reports the reef is already threatened with destruction by global warming.

I am not convinced, however, they are being creative enough. I mean, all that coral just sitting there — has anyone tried digging it up and burning it?

Surely we should at least test if it could be a useful source of power the mining giants could flog off to China before we kill it all. It is not like coal is going to last forever. Paul Cleary’s Too Much Luck says black coal is estimated to run out in 100 years based on current production — and the plan is to dig up much more, much quicker.

What are we going to do then? Spend our time taking turns filing in to look at Clive Palmer’s bank account balance?

The Advertiser said on June 13 that Abbott has also committed to “removing all obstacles” in the way of the expansion of BHP Billiton’s huge Olympic Dam copper, gold and uranium mining operations in South Australia.

Abbott demanded the Gillard government give BHP Billiton a written assurance its Minerals Resource Rent Tax would never be applied to copper, gold or uranium. It is an outrage to even imagine the possibility that BHP Billiton might have to pay a small resource tax to dig up the most dangerous substance you can find in the ground and sell it to nuclear power plants like the one at Fukushima in Japan that suffered a meltdown last year and poisoned much of the Pacific Ocean.

They should be granted the badly needed certainty that their profits will be untouched as they add to the global nuclear cycle that threatens to destroy all life on Earth.

Abbott’s commitment to mining has nothing at all to do with the Liberals being owned by the mega-rich. Such scurrilous allegations have been made about the Western Australian Liberal government after it was revealed it was charging big businesses $25,000 for exclusive meetings with senior ministers.

Premier Colin Barnett strongly denied this meant allowing the rich to buy influence over government. None of the corporations, he insisted, expected anything in return for 25 grand.

This is entirely believable when you consider the fascinating personalities of the WA Liberals. Who wouldn’t want to spend that cash just for the chance of half an hour in their presence?

Take transport minister Troy Buswell, the man caught up in one of the most bizarrely perverted political scandals ever after he sexually harassed a female staffer by sniffing a chair she had been sitting on.

Buswell has faced multiple allegations of sexual harassment and it is an outrage he still has his job. But you have to admit, if you had a spare $25,000 it would be tempting to buy a meeting with him just to see what he’d do. You’d be bound to come away with bundles of pub stories: “And then, I swear to God it’s true, he started dry humping the curtains!”

No, these people just have a deep-going personal commitment to destroying the planet. If that coincides with the interests of the huge corporations that fund them, it is a wonderful coincidence.

Read more Carlo's Corner columns.

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