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Activists Stop Adani Drill Rig Ahead Of Adani Court Appearance

Heather Simpson from drought ravaged Stanthorpe.  Image Supplied 

A climate activist has locked herself to a drill rig on Adani’s Carmichael mine site on Friday, disrupting work.

Heather Simpson from Stanthorpe locked herself to the drill rig at 6:30AM by the Gregory Highway; while a group of supporters gathered around to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Australia’s first environmental blockade at Terania Creek.

The Terania Creek blockade began near Nimbin, NSW on August 16th, 1979. It led to the creation of the Nightcap National Park and began a tradition of front line environmental activism that has resulted in the preservation of diverse and unique natural environments across the continent.

Image Supplied 

Frontline Action on Coal spokesperson Andy Paine said “Australia’s history of environmental blockades is a wonderful tradition that has changed the way we relate to this country.

From the Daintree to East Gippsland on the East Coast; from James Price Point to Walpole on the West; from Kakadu in the top end to the Franklin River in the South of Tasmania: Australia is covered in beautiful and cherished national parks that were the result of people engaging in civil disobedience.”

“These blockades were all the result of brave and creative people making personal sacrifices. Each of them were at the time accused of being troublemakers and costing jobs, but history has vindicated them and their legacy is the national parks we all enjoy. We say the best way to celebrate that tradition is not only to remember those stories, but to continue it by blockading the Adani mine and preserving a safe climate for all life on Earth.”

Adani is currently clearing trees for the construction of its Carmichael mine, which would produce 4.7 billion tonnes of greenhouse emissions over its lifetime. The mine has been the subject of mass protests for five years, and this is the fourth civil disobedience action against it in the last week and a half.

Adani also returns to the Brisbane Magistrates Court on Friday, facing fresh prosecution for allegedly providing false and misleading information to the Queensland government covering up land clearing at the Carmichael mine.

If found guilty, the offence carries a maximum penalty of $2.8 million for the company or two years in prison.

Anti Adani activists are positioning themselves outside the Magistrates Court ahead of the appearance. 

Water engineer Dr Anne Gardiner said, “These serious allegations show once again that Adani cannot be trusted. If Adani can’t tell the truth, and try to cover up land clearing works, then how can they be trusted to keep Queensland’s land and water safe?”

“Adani is a serial offender. Before they secured final approvals in June they faced prosecution for polluting the Great Barrier Reef and fines for releasing contaminated water into sensitive wetlands. This rogue company acts as a law unto themselves - both in Australia and overseas.”

“This prosecution by the Queensland government is only about the false information included in returns, not the allegation that they illegally cleared land and drilled bores. But that is actually very important. Most of the environmental conditions on their approvals rely on self reporting by Adani and they clearly cannot be counted on to do that honestly.”

“This is a reminder of why the majority of Queenslanders do not trust Adani or want the mine to proceed. Allowing Adani to extract artesian basin water as well as the flows from the Suttor River without being held accountable is a scary prospect for the farmers of the Galilee Basin.”

“We know that digging and mining coal drives more dangerous climate change. The community will not let Adani off the hook and we will continue to bear witness to Adani’s unethical practices and work to stop this mine going ahead.”

An Adani Australia spokesperson responded saying, “Adrian Burragubba has taken numerous legal actions against the Adani Carmichael project and the courts have repeatedly said he has no case".  

“Every claim brought by Mr Burragubba’s minority faction has lost at trial and then has also lost on appeal.

“As per the usual legal practice he has been held responsible by the Courts for paying court costs and has been ordered to pay more than $600,000 for multiple failed cases.

“The W&J people have strongly supported the indigenous land use agreement with Adani by a vote of 294 to 1 and Mr Burragubba refuses to accept the voice of his own people.

“Activists who use the courts for law fare should be held to account, they are not above the law. It should be noted that Mr Burragubba has been urged on by environmental groups who now seemed to have abandoned him.

“One such group is the foreign-backed Sunrise Project that recently made a $495,000 donation to GetUp! The Sunrise Project, at one stage offered to pay $325,000 to the W&J if they opposed the Adani Carmichael project.

“If Adani receives the funds from Mr Burragubba they will be passed on to charities" the spokesperson concluded.  

By Michelle Price 

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