Media Release: Mackay locals demand future for youth, water and agriculture

MEDIA RELEASE
11 May 2018

Adani Industry rally: Mackay locals demand future for youth, water and agriculture

As the Resource Industry Network prepares to rally in Mackay on Saturday, spokespeople for the Central Queensland Defend our Water campaign are calling for a future beyond coal that protects young people, Queensland water resources and agriculture.  

Mackay cane grower Len Thompson said, “Coal has been a big part of Queensland’s past but we can’t bet our future on it. Locals around here realise Adani’s mine offers false hope.  Whoever wins government has to develop a plan which will work for Central Queensland’s long term economic future.

“As a farmer I know that water is essential and a big question mark hangs over Adani’s groundwater impacts.

“Adani’s mine threatens Queensland’s water and our food security. We can’t afford to damage agriculture by digging new mines which will drive even more heatwaves, droughts and fires in this region.”

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Land of the fair go

As Australians we pride ourselves on being egalitarian, the land of the fair go. Yet there’s nothing egalitarian about the treatment that Indigenous Australians receive. Apart from poorer health, incarceration, life expectancy and income statistics, the law is used against Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders in a way that a fair justice system should never allow.

The dispossession of Indigenous Australians began in 1788. When Britain took possession of the continent in the eighteenth century it claimed the sole sovereign right of land ownership. That was despite an established set of land ownership laws that had been developed over tens of thousands of years by the First Australians.

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New water laws will protect the reef

For decades Queensland’s sugar cane farmers have been throwing money into the creeks and rivers that flow past their properties. That’s the money spent on excess fertiliser that runs off during heavy rain and makes its way to the ocean. It’s estimated that three quarters of nitrogen fertiliser put on cane farms leaches from the soil within a few months of application.

When nitrogen and phosphorus fertiliser enters rivers and ends up in the Reef, it upsets the natural balance of the marine environment. Algae love nitrogen and phosphorus. In a high nutrient environment algae can then become so numerous that the sunlight that normally reaches the sea floor can no longer do so. That means seagrass and other light dependent bottom-dwelling organisms have trouble growing and reproducing. Crown of Thorns starfish that destroy hard corals also love nitrogen and that’s one of the reasons they are in such large numbers on the Reef at present.

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The Climate Change Election

Central Queenslanders are feeling the impacts of climate change. The region suffered through the hottest summer on record that inflicted seemingly endless weeks of extreme heat, wild fires in Eungella National Park and unprecedented flooding that is estimated to have killed half a million cattle or more in the Townsville region.

Unfortunately the Australian government’s response to this is to open up the Galilee Basin to build Adani’s Carmichael coal mine and up to 8 more mega coal mines in the region.

The carbon emissions from these mines were they to go ahead would increase dangerous climate change here in Australia but all around the world with devastating consequences.

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Adani and the Black Throated Finch

Adani’s Carmichael mine in the Galilee Basin, central Queensland is a long way from receiving all of the approvals it needs before it will be ready to break ground.

One of the key hurdles Adani needs to overcome is to have their management plan for the tiny Black Throated Finch (BTF) approved by the Queensland government.

Unfortunately for Adani and the BTF a substantial amount of the finch’s remaining habitat resides within the 28 000 hectare footprint of the Carmichael Mine.

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Say G'day at Wintermoon

moira.jpgCome say G’day to the MCG team at Wintermoon from Fri 3rd - Mon 6th May! We’ll be talking with people about the Adani coal mine, climate change and reef water quality. There’ll also be fun activities for the kids (and big kids) including cardboard critter and face painting.

With only 2 weeks until the federal election, it’s a crucial time for us to make sure that as many people as possible know what’s at risk and that their vote counts. Adani has become the biggest election issue and for good reason. If it goes ahead, it will set off a domino effect of even more coal mega-mines in the Galilee Basin. This is at a time when the majority of QLD is still in drought and scientists have agreed we need to start transitioning away from fossil fuels.

With your help, we can ensure that Wintermoon is a big win for changing hearts and minds. You can help us make this THE climate election!

If you can help out on the stall for a few hours, call Emma on 0437 742 747 or email emma@mackayconservationgroup.org.au

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Media Release: Defend our Water anti-Adani ad campaign for Queensland

‘Defend our Water’ launches anti-Adani ad campaign for Central Qld

TV, radio, digital, print, billboards for Townsville, Rockhampton and Mackay

Ads spotlight Adani’s failure to comply with Queensland laws

Central Queenslanders are to be reminded of Adani’s poor track record on water, including breaking Queensland laws, in a major advertising campaign being launched today by the Mackay Conservation Group to run in Townsville, Rockhampton and Mackay in the lead up to the Federal election.

The advertising campaign materials can be viewed and downloaded HERE

Peter McCallum, Mackay co-ordinator of the Defend our Water Campaign - Not One Drop for Adani said, “We’ve taken out these ads to make sure the community knows that before Adani has even been granted final approvals for their mine, they’re already breaking the rules.

“Queensland has laws to protect our water, but Adani clearly doesn’t play by the rules. How can we trust them to look after Queensland’s water?”

The advertising campaign will run in Central and North Queensland on television, radio and print media as well as billboards.

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Adani job claims are only false hope

Adani has made many claims about the number of jobs its mine will generate. They have often said that the mine will create ten thousand jobs. Last year at a mining industry forum in Mackay it was claimed that 16,000 direct and indirect jobs would be created. Former prime minister, Malcolm Turnbull, spoke about “tens of thousands of jobs” flowing from the project while visiting Adani’s operations in India.

When asked to provide evidence under oath in court, Adani’s economic expert said that the project would create 1,464 direct and indirect jobs. That’s a big number but it's a long way short of the ten thousand touted in public by the company.

The biggest cloud hanging over jobs in the mining industry isn’t whether or not politicians support a single mining project. The major driver of declining employment in coal worldwide has been the desire of mining companies to maximise profits through automation. Every nation that produces coal has witnessed mechanisation drive employment lower, even when production increased.

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Mackay's Rally for Water!

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Rally for Water, Sat 13 April


Nearly 100 Mackay residents took to the streets on Saturday 13th April to march against the approval of Adani's groundwater plans by the federal government.


The large crowd included indigenous leaders, farmers, school teachers, students and grandparents. It was a clear sign to our political leaders and the media that the Mackay community wanted real action on climate change, which starts with rejecting Adani's coal mine.

Local cane farmer, Len Thompson, spoke about how water is needed to start and sustain life, and how hard it is to live off the land without it.

"Out west, farmers out aren't lucky as we are on the coast. Every year there are long, long dry spells. And the only thing that keeps the farm running is bore water. Water from underground."

"They [Adani] haven't proved that they won't damage the water supplies, that farmers in the dry spells in Queensland depend upon."

"If they do wreck the aquifer, then those farms will become worthless forever."

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