Like many people I enjoy a good mystery especially one with many layers and conflicting information that eventually leads to uncovering an alarming conspiracy of some sort. As a general rule of course I prefer to find these ‘plots’ within the pages of novels or on the movie screen however from time to time things happen in the world around us that do give one pause to reconsider just how far people will go to get what they want.
Recent events with the expansion of the Abbott Point Coal Terminal, the approval of Australia’s largest coal mine and the removal of our carbon tax has set a number of noggins noodling as to whether or not the timing was merely incidental or whether plotting was involved.
Chances are the timing is quite deliberate and no more plotting than is normal for multi-billion dollar deals BUT a few others things of a more disturbing/sinister nature occurred in the weeks prior to the approval of this project that does lead me to the happy contemplation of a conspiracy between our government, Adani, YouTube and a possible red herring of a false Corruption Website. Interested yet? OK then lets delve!!
GetUp, one of Australia’s largest and most effective social consciousness protest sites had prepared a three minute video regarding Adani’s lack of scruples when it comes to following environmental procedures, keeping withing the confines of agreed upon development and respecting community involvement in regards to expansion and ongoing issues in the areas where they have mines. According to the Sydney Morning Herald:
The group says it posted an animated video – Don’t trust this company with our Great Barrier Reef – to YouTube on June 7 to draw attention to plans by Indian-based company Adani for a massive coalmine in Queensland’s Galilee Basin. However, late last week, YouTube told GetUp! that a website, Corruption Tube, claimed it had posted that video in late 2013, and that its copyright had been breached.
To make matters even more interesting YouTube downgraded Getup’s video channel to make the dissemination of information more difficult for them as well as blocking the Adani clip on Getup’s own website.
The timing is suspicious as Getup has been responsible for raising large amounts of money to wage advertising campaigns and protests that have prevented or reversed some decisions in the past as well as links to other equally successful groups.
Now on Monday of this week Adani received approval from our government via Greg Hunt, The Minister for the Environment, to proceed with Australia’s largest coal mine, Carmichael Coal. This mine will be the largest coal mine in the southern hemisphere and is another nail in the Great Barrier Reef’s coffin due to the reef already being considered by the World Heritage Body to be listed as In Danger prior to this projects approval going ahead.
UNESCO has raised concerns telling the ABC on Wednesday of this week that a proposal for ship-to-ship movement of coal, currently before the Federal Environment Department, could be referred to the UNESCO World Heritage Committee. Further more in an interview with the ABC in Paris, UNESCO’s coordinator of the World Heritage Centre Marine program, Fanny Douvere, raised concerns about a plan by Queensland company Mitchell Ports to operate coal barges, trans-shipper loaders and large ships in the World Heritage area.
In a separate interview with Mark Willacy from the ABC, Ellen Roberts [Mackay Conservation Group] and Peter Dallas spoke about what the impact of this could mean for the Great Barrier Reef and the surrounding environment:
Increased ship traffic, increases the risk of ship accidents and spillages of coal dust into the marine environment and there’s been some work done showing that we already have very high levels of toxic coal dust as a result of the existing port facilities here. Ellen Roberts
Peter Dallas in response to Willacy’s comment regarding the company saying that ship to ship will avoid the need for extensive dredging in the World Heritage area:
…. this proposal is about operating out on open water where we get monster swells so the unballast ships is going to be rocking, the transship is going to be rocking, the barge alongside is going to be rocking. It’s all going to be rock and roll and we’re going to end up with coal in Barrier Reef waters and no doubt nobody knows where it goes when it falls in the water.
If that is not enough to get you interested in why such a project would be considered and why now then let’s add something else to the pot and stir. There are concerns about the amount water the will be used by the mine but the minister Greg Hunt has apparently organised for the replacement of what will be taken from the community. However the figures relating to water usage for the mine just don’t add up. The site is in drought prone farming area and according to the agreement set by Greg Hunt the Coal Mine is to return 730 megalitres of water to the system but there seems to be a little problem with the math as the mine will actually be TAKING 12,500 megalitres out EACH YEAR. [figures courtesy of The Australian Greens]
So the fur is flying and accusations of unfair practices, environmentally damaging development and juggling of figures are now resonating around the world but it may not be enough. With the removal of some of our recent environmental protection laws by the government the Australian public is even more limited in what we can actually do once approval has been given in the parliament.
Fortunately while Adani may have received approval for the mine to go ahead it is still waiting on funding. Despite the setbacks in recent weeks Getup and other groups have made huge inroads into having the clip reinstated and starting a campaign to halt investment by the banks with Adani.
Westpac Bank is apparently considering funding Adani here in Australia and as a result Greenpeace Australia Asia Pacific have already begun a billboard advertising campaign to call awareness to the issue.
If you would like to read more about it or contribute to the funds for either GetUp or Greenpeace just follow the links I’ve set up up in this sentence. What I do suggest you do is take the time to watch the clip about Adani, I am fairly cynical so not an awful lot shocks me but the blatant disregard for people, the environment and government regulations by this group stunned me as I am sure it will you.