With Adani pledging to start work this month on one of the biggest coal mines in the world, and in the wake of an explosive ABC 4Corners program about the corporation, Coffs Coast locals dressed in red and black gathered on Park Beach on Saturday to create a giant human sign spelling “Stop Adani”.
There was a large contingent of Bellingen locals at the 800-strong event, including the Mayor Dominic King and Councillor Jennie Fenton.
MC was Sarah Wood and the list of speakers included Michael Jarrett, Gumbaynggirr elder with Welcome to Country; Sally Townley, Coffs Harbour City Councillor; Jenny Ellis, Gamilaroi Elder; Jeremy Buckingham, Greens NSW MLC; and Marnie Cotton and John Ross, Coffs Coast Climate Action Group.
Tu'ulenana Iuli performed the Haka and music from Luke Wilton and the Coffs Coast’s own #StopAdani choir livened the mood.
Coffs Coast Climate Action Groups’s event was one of over 45 community actions that occurred across the nation, from Bondi to Bells Beach, Suva to the Whitsundays, Melbourne to Airlie Beach and Perth’s Cottesloe Beach to Queensland’s Port Douglas.
“The Coffs Coast is experiencing an exceptionally dry, warm year, with many residents on tank water running dry and experiencing long waits to fill up, and others having to manage out-of-season bushfires,” Coffs Coast Climate Action Group spokesperson Liisa Rusanen said.
“This is one face of climate change. Dangerous extremes in weather will get worse and harder to manage if we keep digging up and burning coal and gas. We’re taking action today to call for a rapid change in direction.
“We’ve had an overwhelming response from the community to the Stop Adani campaign here in Coffs. People can’t comprehend why the government would give $1 billion of taxpayer money to a dubious company like Adani, throwing in free water and coal, while allowing the destruction of the reef, farmland and sacred sites. Most of us see that renewable energy is a far better option. Luke Hartsuyker and the rest of the government need to catch up,” said Ms Rusanen.
“We’re here today to spell it out for them: Stop Adani. This is our line in the sand. The age of coal is over. It’s time to upgrade to 100% renewable energy.”
The Stop Adani movement has released new, national ReachTEL polling showing:
● A clear majority (56 per cent) of Australians now oppose Adani’s coal project.
● In relation to the controversial prospect of a $1 billion loan of public money to Adani, two thirds of Australians believe the Queensland Government should keep its election promise to not spend public money on Adani’s private rail line. The poll shows 66 per cent of Australians want the Queensland government to use its power to veto the loan.
The Stop Adani Alliance has more than doubled its membership since its launch in March 2017 and now has 31 member organisations. More than 160 local Stop Adani groups have also formed.