Stop Adani activists from around Australia gathered in Canberra on February 5, calling on Labor and Coalition MPs to prioritise cancelling the Adani mine project in this session of parliament.
About 100 protesters set up at the front and rear entrances of Parliament House from 7am to “welcome” politicians arriving for the first day of parliament.
Prime Minister Malcom Turnbull and Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce made a point of not responding to the protesters, but a number of parliamentary staff and MPs honked their horns in support. Greens Senator Andrew Bartlett joined the early morning protest and indicated support for the action.
By 10am about 500 protesters had gathered on the front lawns to make it clear that this is the year of “Stopping Adani”.
Speakers addressed the crowd, including Community Organiser of the Mackay Conservation Group Maggie McKeown; Queensland Tourism award winner and Whitsunday Reef operator Dr Lindsay Simpson; Pacific Climate Warrior, 350.org Pacific Zane Sikulu; and Councillor with the Climate Council of Australia Will Steffen.
The recurring theme was that while the movement had many successes last year, such as the Queensland government’s veto of the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility loan; Downer pulling out of its deal to construct the Adani mine; banks and financial institutions around the world refusing to finance the project; and Frontline Action Against Coal hindering coal trains’ progress to the Abbot Point terminal, the Carmichael mine in Queensland’s Galilee Basin still had the support of both Labor and the Coalition.
The focus now is to break this bipartisan support and build on the growing public opposition to the mine.
Sam Regester from GetUp! concluded: “Any party which doesn’t outright oppose Adani will suffer at the ballot box. This includes the ALP.
“This is the year to change the politics of coal. This is the year to stop Adani.”