Stop Adani activists face post election challenges

A Stop Adani march in Marrickville on May 19 2018. Photo Zebedee Parkes

More than 100 Stop Adani activists from around Australia participated in a webinar on May 22 to share initial reflections on the way forward for the campaign post election.

Participants generally reported initial shock at the election result but were committed to ratchetting up action. The need to strengthen links within local communities and to engage with mining communities was discussed, as was the need to correct the media lies about the “jobs bonanza” presented by the opening up of the Galilee Basin.

There was support for forging links with progressive unions, such as National Union of Workers, Electrical Trades Union (Qld and NT) and the Maritime Union of Australia (Qld), which had made statements recently opposing Adani and new coal and supporting the transition to renewables.

It was felt that deeper engagement with people and activating the growing base of supporters was the key to stopping Adani. There was also discussion of working towards a broad National Day of Action, including the school student strikers and other community supporters.

A plea was made to the Stop Adani committees to support and donate to the legal case of the Aboriginal custodians, the Wangan and Jagalingou Family Council, who have been fighting Adani for four years. Their legal case begins on May 27.

Participants at the webinar committed to an immediate focus of countering the mining lobby pressure on the Queensland government to finalise approvals for the Adani mine. At a press conference at the Hay Point Coal Terminal on May 22, Queensland’s Labor Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said she would direct Adani, the Department of Environment and Science (DES) and the Coordinator-General to meet to finalise a timetable for the final decisions on the project. She said that she wanted a firm timetable for approvals for the Adani mine as well as other coal projects by the end of the week.

Another example of the Queensland government’s policy shift on Adani is the May 21 decision to drop the prosecution of Adani-owned Abbot Point Operations for breach of its environmental conditions. The company faced a $2.7 million penalty.

The proposal by the Mayor of Rockhampton to organise a “Start Adani” convoy from Rockhampton to Brisbane to lobby the Queensland government to finalise approvals was noted.

Two immediate tasks were identified for a renewed Stop Adani campaign: local groups getting together with their communities and participating in developing campaign strategies and tactics at Stop Adani Assemblies in Brisbane (June 22 and 23), Sydney (June 29 and 30) and Melbourne (June 29 and 30).

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