• Former Senator Bob Brown joins key environmental groups to launch 'Stop Adani Alliance' (NITV)
Indigenous Youth Climate Network, Seed, and former Senator Bob Brown have joined forces with 12 other key environmental groups to launch the 'Stop Adani Alliance' campaign to stop the development of the $1.2b coal mine in Queensland.
By
Nakari Thorpe

Source:
NITV News
22 Mar 2017 - 1:19 PM  UPDATED 22 Mar 2017 - 1:21 PM

The Indigenous Youth Climate Network, Seed, has joined forces with the Bob Brown Foundation and 11 other key environmental groups to launch a campaign to stop the $1.2b Adani Carmichael coalmine in Queensland's Galilee Basin today.

National Co-Director of Seed, Amelia Telford, says Adani's mine will devastate ancestral lands, waters and culture of Aboriginal peoples. 

"This mine already threatens the rights, the ancestral lands, waters and our climate for local Aboriginal people but also for Indigenous people in Australia and around the world," she said. 

"It's the most vulnerable communities that are already seeing the impacts of climate change. For Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, we have moved off our country ever since colonisation, so its not fair that a new coal mine or the impacts of climate change are going to continue to do that again." 

Veteran environmentalist and former senator Bob Brown joined community leaders to launch the 'Stop Adani Alliance' campaign. 

He said opening of coal mines like Adani's is criminal behaviour.

"What we are looking at immediately here is the dreadful prospect of governments giving a $1billion loan to damage the Great Barrier Reef, to worsen prospects for the environment in India by having Adani, which does not have the money for this project, [instead] diverting Australians taxpayer money away from the hospitals, from schools, from public service, and even public transport that we should be investing in."

New polling shows three quarters of Australians want Adani to fund their own infrastucture rather than rely on the $1billion taxpayer subsidy. 

Dr Brown said the coal mine is of mass public interest. 

"Make no mistake we are seeing the start of a campaign which is going to parallel the Franklin campaign, if not be bigger."

"It is a job loser, it is an econonmic disruptant, and it is an environmental killer. And the people of Australia are not going to put up with it." 

The Franklin campaign sought to save Lake Pedder in the south-west of Tasmania during the late 1960s to early 1970s. 

President of the Australian Conservation Foundation, Geoff Cousins, said Adani is a company that simply doesn't abide by the rules imposed on it. 

He recently visited India, where Adani's headquarters are based, and says he witnessed the adverse and severe impacts of the mining giant's operations upon Indigenous communities. 

"One of the people we met with in India was a former Minister for the Environment. He said to me, 'if Adani doesn't abide by the rules in India, why do you think it will do so in Australia, if it doesn't do it in its own country?'," he said.

Mr Cousins says Adani should not be, in anyway, be entrusted with operations that impinge upon Great Barrier Reef. 

"Let's face it, coal kills coral." 

The campaign includes thirteen key environmental groups, including the Bob Brown Foundation, Seed Indigenous Youth Climate Network, Australian Conservation Foundation, GetUp, 350.org, Australian Youth Climate Coalition, Australian Marine Conservation Society, Mackay Conservation Group, North Queensland Conservation Council, Environment Council of Central Queensland, Whitsundays Residents Against Dumping, Market Forces and The Sunrise Project.

They represent 1.5 million Australians to build the biggest movement in Australia's history to stop the coal mine and end coal for good. 

Mr Cousins says the coming together of these organisations is an unprecedented alliance of environmental groups. 

"There has never been such a large coming together of environmental groups in the history of this country," he said. 

Native title amendments 

Wangan and Jagalingou (W&J) Traditional Owners fighting Adani’s Carmichael mine say there are disappointed that Labor senators backed the government's rushed amendments to the Native Title Act. 

The bill is designed to overturn the recent McGlade decision in Western Australia that upheld the Native Title Act requirement that all applicants are required to sign an Indigenous Land Use Agreement. 

Senior spokesperson for the W&J Traditional Owners Council Mr Adrian Burragubba said Labor has lined up with the Government to wind back native title rights and their own commitment to land rights.

"They have swallowed the arguments of the mining and agricultural lobby that there is a crisis that needs an urgent response," he said. 

National Co-Director of Seed, Amelia Teford, said the proposed changes to native title law are unfair. 

"Our mob have not been properly consulted and yet this is an issue that will impact us not only now but our young people and future generations." 

Meanwhile, a new report from Curtain University and the University of Western Australia has suggests that the native title system limits the stream of benefits to traditional owners from agreements with government and industry. 

It found that even after native title has been recognised traditional owners are left with weak bargaining powers to generate positive outcomes for their lands and community, leaving them at the mercy of their negotiating partners.  

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