As the pressure mounts, Adani lashes out

September 8, 2020
Outside AON on September 4. Photo: Rigmor Berg

On September 4, an international day of action, activists from Galilee Blockade protested outside the headquarters of insurance giant AON over its support for Adani’s coal mine in the Galilee Basin in Central Queensland.

An activist attempted to deliver a petition, signed by 57,400 people from around the world, calling on AON to stop its search for risk insurance to cover Queensland-based company BMD Constructions that is building Adani’s railway to Point Abbot.

The petition was initiated by consumer watchdog SumOfUs.

The insurance policies of Adani’s key contractors are due for renewal soon which is why activists have stepped up the pressure on AON to join dozens of other major insurance companies to rule out supporting thermal coal mining.

CEO of AON James Baum refused to leave office on the 25th floor to accept the petitions. The police arrived after an hour and, after some discussion, we left. 

Meanwhile, the ABC reported on August 27 that Adani secretly sought leave to have the home of activist Ben Pennings raided. Adani and its Carmichael Rail Network applied for a search order against Pennings in June, claiming he had possession of “confidential information” which was being used in a campaign of “intimidation and conspiracy” against the Galilee Basin coal project.

The Court of Appeal rejected their request, claiming the evidence was “wholly inadequate to justify the order sought”. It also raised concerns about the impact of a search order on Pennings’ partner and children.

Nevertheless, Adani is pursing civil damages, while the Courier Mail in Queensland and the Sunday Mail continue to publish multiple spreads on Pennings’ alleged “ecoterrorism”.

Galilee Blockade has set up website urging employees to "dob in" their employer over secret contracts with Adani’s coal mine. Adani has admitted that the campaign against its mine in Central Queensland has already had an impact with Downer Mining, Greyhound Australia and AECOM  withdrawing agreements.

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