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Australian Politics – An Aimless Discourse?

We need an immediate shift from the current aimless national political discourse and we must insist upon politics with clear definable aims. The involvement of more young people in politics is now urgent. We need young voices now, not later.

After an absence from blogging and a period of reflection, here are some suggestions.

Reverse-Phenomenology – Bracketing and Dismissing “Left and Right”

Husserl’s phenomenology discusses understanding observable phenomena by setting aside one’s own assumptions and ideas, (sometimes referred to as bracketing). This is done to understand the lived experience of others within that phenomenon. The phenomena I am witnessing is the reverse of Husserl’s phenomenology. A vast number of people dismiss the lived experience of others. They insist their assumptions and ideas are what is ‘correct”. The actual lived experience of others is unimportant and is dismissed.

This is becoming very prominent with the bracketing of “left” and “right.” At times there is also ‘left-left’ who seek to put shame on and divide ‘the left’ by playing what I call “leftist Olympics” and the same occurs on the ‘I’m more conservative/patriotic than these snowflakes’ which occurs on the right.

This is the reverse of how phenomenology is used to understand phenomena. In my opinion, that is not a good way for society to continue. Progressive change requires mitigating resistance and bringing those people who resist along to assist to lead the change. To become champions of change. That means our leaders need to understand fully the concerns and fears of others. In addition, how people who resist progressive change currently view the world.

Political leaders and progressive groups should use technology more effectively. They should use this technology to engage and interact with others. They should move away from using social media to advertise blanket statements. Two-way exchanges with regular voters, particularly using video and/or audio, would greatly assist our political discourse.

We cannot do this with the continuum of the clear delineation of “left vs. right.” The aim of political leaders should be to bring us together.

Left vs. Right

A key observation I have witnessed (and I know it is not new) is the increasing use of ‘left’ or ‘right’ to defend or dismiss an argument. The answer from the ASIO chief to Pauline Hanson about no link between refugees and terrorism is a key example.

One person commented (on SBS Feed) that “this is typical of the leftist media! It would be good to see the whole interview.”

There are a few problems with this comment although it is a typical comment with many similar.

Firstly, anyone can watch the estimates hearings online, on the Australian Parliament website. Maybe free to air would be beneficial.

The second is that this individual places themselves ‘on the right’ and anything they disagree with ‘is left.’ Left and right are now used as synonyms for “I agree” or “I disagree.”

Politics with Aim

The main aim of politicians and protest groups should be to have clear aims and purpose. It is harmful to blindly bracket opinion as left or right, dismissing facts and not offering solutions. Politicians repeating what “people are thinking” adds nothing. It is also poor leadership and is devoid of solutions. Discussing the benefits or risks of enacting “what people are thinking” to define solutions is politics with aim. The current political discourse is aimless.

With the bracketing of “left” and “right” arguments, another observation is the lack of definable aims in political discourse. I will use two examples, Freedom of Speech and Adani. These arguments are primarily positioned as “right” and “left” respectively.

Freedom of Speech

Regardless of the harm indiscriminate freedom of speech may cause; advocates believe it has true value as an individual freedom. FOS advocates reject the reaction of disagreement or consequence. They see these reactions as a threat to their freedom.

As discussed in a previous blog, I spoke of Marcuse’s use of discriminate freedom of speech. This seeks to bracket and set aside speech that is harmful. This is as opposed to indiscriminate freedom of speech which allows all speech, regardless of the harm it may cause. The pen is mightier than the sword, indicates words have a deep impact on human emotions.

As FOS advocates insist on restricting FOS when they do not agree with rebuttals or statements from others; I believe that FOS advocates do want discriminate freedom of speech. However, the line is blurred for what should be bracketed and set aside as harmful.

There is a lot of noise about FOS, but there are no definable aims in the political argument.

  • What are the risks to society in allowing harmful discourse? A discourse that does indeed make some feel so isolated and misunderstood they take their life?
  • Should we as a society care about stigma and hatred?
  • Is it more important for society to embrace indiscriminate free speech, than the harm such free speech causes others?
  • Do we aim to be a society that insists on passive tolerance of harmful speech?

The aim of our leaders should be to create a conversation about this debate and our choices for society.

Leaders should show leadership and pose such questions. We are a country that is home to many marginalised groups and we desperately need to be united on this issue. Political discourse should not be aimless.

Is Protesting against Adani and aimless exercise?

The other example I will use is the Adani mine. This mine is currently the subject of a nationwide protest. The difficulty I have with the protest against the Adani Coalmine is, a successful protest will have a negative impact on adjacent regions. Negative impacts on regional employment and the local economy.

It may be strongly argued by some that this is short-sighted. The harm to the environment is the main issue and we must think long term.

Yes, I agree, we must think long term. However, the problem I have with this entire protest movement is just like the freedom of speech argument; no one appears to be concerned with the risks of their successful protest outcome. (Successful freedom of speech harms others, successful mine closures with no transition plan, harms others).

Just like bracketing “left” and “right” anyone who is pro-Adani is bracketed as “wrong” and those against are bracketed as “correct.” There are strong arguments for environmentalism, the (real) amount of jobs, Indigenous rights etc. However, there is very little concern for the regions that have been gearing up for the inclusion of this mine for a number of years. There is the bracketing of the arguments about joblessness, benefits to the economy ‘dismissed as not important.’

In these areas, there are businesses that service mining. The mine will directly have a positive impact on the local economy and jobs. Some areas of the connecting LMA unemployment is 15-19%. These areas are also identified for the Basics Card and it has been in operation in my town for a number of years. With the mining downturn, more people are staying in town and taking up jobs that others without mining skills would normally take. Some families move away, which affects the local economy.

Protest with an Aim

Legislation and Regulation can provide solutions to anti-Adani arguments if done effectively. However, if the public is against this mine regardless, there still needs to be an aim. The risk to the areas the mine will impact on will remain. Otherwise, the aim of simply shutting down the mine is in itself an aimless objective.

I feel my biggest frustration with the Adani protest is if you place the adjacent communities at the centre of the argument, the protest is aimless.

Those protesting the mine, including politicians, should also have the fortitude to argue fiercely for a transition plan for the adjacent local economies if they don’t want this mine.

A protest with an aim would include conversations and discussions of alternative solutions such as:

  • Every state foregoes some GST and redistributes to these regional communities for job creation in lieu of the mine.
  • Decentralisation of the public sector for job creation in the regions, to the detriment of city workers.
  • Corporate welfare to encourage business to set up in regional communities, rather than Capital Cities.
  • Infrastructure and services funding injection into these regions, to the detriment of more roads, rail and the building of public services in capital cities.
  • Investment in farming, agriculture and acceptance of live animal exports.
  • When people can’t put food on the table, does environmental activism come from a position of privilege? This may be a very ugly debate. However, as mining bans are increasing, this question is important. Without a serious transition plan, existing mining regions will experience a negative impact.

… And too many other questions to list. This would be a protest with an aim. The current protest is aimless and completely ignores the damage to the communities that have been gearing up to service this mine for a number of years.

Why we need Young People in Politics – Now!

My final observation is the Corbyn and Sanders movements demonstrate that young people are indeed engaged and are willing to be heard.

Their advocacy and engagement with certain progressive policies show that they have a vision for our future. However, I think it is very important for young people to be leaders now to shape the debate and be young leaders in clearly defining aims for our future.

For any young person, who may be timid, not confident or worried about joining a political party, union or movement, I say you should not be. All you need to do is view the low bar set by Pauline Hanson in the last round of Senate estimates, to understand and identify that you could do better right now if you were in her place. In fact, there are many politicians who have been in politics for years, who do not get the same media attention, which you could do better than right now if you were in their place.

We need your voices now. Join the political party of your choice and speak up and shape our country now. Your work life, retirement, aged care, health, schooling for your children and grandchildren and general progress of our country are all at stake.


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  1. cathamo

    This article is timely. I was though at a loss to understand what allowing kive export has to do with adani’ government subsidised coalmine?

  2. Trish Corry

    Cathamo, It is a contentious issue that Farmers in the economic areas near the mine say will have a positive impact for them, over pure domestically processed meat. It’s not necessarily my personal opinion. Simply talking points for solutions if people don’t want the mine.

  3. RonaldR

    There is only one Organisation that made the shift (nearly 30 years ago) it does not play popularity politics and educates people on the True History and what we need to do to fix the mess.

  4. diannaart

    Left and right are now used as synonyms for “I agree” or “I disagree.”

    Completely agree.

    However, I am told I am trying to divide ‘the left’ for my well researched and studied reasons for opposing the Adani Mine. I realise by even stating the aforementioned, this article may well degenerate into an argument regarding coal mining, that is not my intent, nor do I believe (and I stand to be corrected) that this is Trish’s intent. Perhaps a better analogy on progressive infighting would be the lines drawn between Labor and the Greens.

    Over to the AIMers.

  5. guest

    Trish, I have not seen anything which will show that the Adani mine will have any benefits at all,even for a short time if it gets off the ground – and certainly not in the long term.

    The present coal mines are also of limited life – some 40 mines?

    The facts are heavily against the mines – and you have not been able to refute them.

    It seems to me that the idea that the mine is a necessity is a confession that there is a lack of imagination required to create new beneficial economic activities as well as current alternatives such as renewable energy technologies, intensive agriculture, rural development of industry, service industries…

    Rural areas are dying and will not be repopulated by mines operated with driver-less trucks.

  6. Kaye Lee

    “anyone can watch the estimates hearings online, on the Australian Parliament website. Maybe free to air would be beneficial.”

    Retiring public servant Dennis Richardson said after his address to the National Press Club that he is amazed that there is not more reporting of senate estimates where you find out a lot of very important stuff. Instead we are dished up the entirely poinltess debacle of the HoR question time.

    “Politicians repeating what “people are thinking” adds nothing. It is also poor leadership and is devoid of solutions.”

    I so agree. Nothing infuriates me more than hearing a politician begin an answer with “the Australian people want”.

    When the leaders choose to make themselves bidders at an auction of popularity, their talents, in the construction of the state, will be of no service. They will become flatterers instead of legislators; the instruments, not the guides, of the people – Edmund Burke

    I also agree with what Trish says about freedom of speech. Why was Bill Leak’s stereotypical and oft-repeated demonisation of Aboriginals championed as free speech yet Yassmin Abdel-Magied’s call for us to remember the victims of current wars and oppression treated as treason?

    In a democracy, the majority of the citizens is capable of exercising the most cruel oppressions upon the minority. – Edmund Burke

    I understand what you are saying about Adani but when you read the head of the project telling shareholders that the mine will be automated from “pit to port” combined with the information that any production from Adani would be at the expense of other existing coal mines in Australia, notably the Hunter where there is also high unemployment, it just doesn’t make sense and is doubtful to provide the hoped for jobs.

    I would like to see education and research expanded in your area Trish. James Cook University does crucial work. Agricukltural research is also importanrt. I would also like to see mine regeneration placed as a priority. I also would like to see the High Speed Rail built. I know that is not in your area but the mine would also be FIFO workers – perhaps roads and rail could be built to connect to the HSR? What are the renewable energy options – solar and wind farms and perhaps interconnectors? Aged care and child care are two growing needs. Indigenous specific programs could be an employer. Rehab centres. TAFE. Tourism. Rangers.

    Surely there are more productive and secure employers than a dubious mine?

  7. Trish Corry

    Thank you Kaye. My advocacy for Adani has never been pro mining but pro jobs. I’ve taken time out to think of how to reframe it so people hear that the region simply can’t be dismissed. My post is about solution driven politics. Politics with an aim. Thank you for contributing ideas. I believe many will see (and some have) see the word Adani and just miss my point. You have understood my point. For the record CQUniversity is the best uni. But I’m sure JCU does good work ?

  8. paul walter

    Sorry. In the end I see the piece as sophistry, cynical and manipulative.

    I could and should spend time discussing the calculation beneath nonchalance of the structure and language, and add what I think is left out and included as representative of fact or relevance, but the footy is due to start and am not coping with the black dog today, so must leave it for now.

    Ok, it is the way advocacy is done in these times and a Quiggin mind would have it sliced and diced quickly, but not me, not today.

  9. Kaye Lee

    I don’t know enough about the area to be specific about job opportunities but I remember once before in our discussions you providing a list of your ideas for local employment (apart from mining) which I thought were very good.

    Some regional towns have welcomed migrant settlement to their advantage – Mingoola and Bathurst are two examples. You need enough kids to keep the school open or to justify a medical centre or whatever. This is difficult to sell with local unemployment but more people means more customers. It would be great if someone co-ordinated itinerant agricultural work. I know backpackers spend holiday money but I also hear that farmers often can’t get the workers they need at the right moment.

    Oh and we could go back to building a real NBN and actually training our own communications technicians.

    I also think a lot about water management. Surely there must be a way for us to capture and use storm water or treat waste water for reuse. We should be doing more about waste management and recycling though that probably is more applicable in high population density areas.

    And I am definitely not engaging in the best university argument. We have that fight in my home continually. I was going to say all education is beneficial but we have our own versions of Trump University with some of our “private colleges” so I will qualify that.

  10. diannaart

    Excellent comments, Kaye Lee.

    Surely investing into long term jobs is preferable to short term, particularly in a project such as coal mining, where (as others have stated) we already have coal mines, coal use is being phased out and Adani’s credibility is questionable.

    Those protesting the mine, including politicians, should also have the fortitude to argue fiercely for a transition plan for the adjacent local economies if they don’t want this mine.

    Many people are arguing fiercely for transition plans, perhaps not enough politicians, but as an example, right here on AIMN, we have been offering good reasons for alternatives to Adani (and similar projects) and solutions to achieving employment opportunities.

    We are not trying to divide the left at all; proffering solutions and alternatives should be received as positive rather than dismissed.

  11. Trish Corry

    Hi Diana I’m not sure why you are stuck on this divide the left thing. I used that as a general statement to show left / right and also there ARE leftists who vilify other leftists and this also occurs on the right. From being called out for not being patriotic enough. This has nothing to do with Adani and is detailed in a separate area of my article. I just wanted to clarify I’m not accusing anyone of doing anything, except protesting aimlessly with no concern for the regions mining does affect. If people want to argue to shut down mining / no new coal, these are discussions that we need to have. To date, I see little if any serious transition plans that don’t only include renewables as the answer.

  12. Johno

    I agree with paul walters statement, sophistry, cynical and manipulative. The jobs mantra does not cut it with me when the world has gone past 400 ppm (CO2) and climbing.
    Protesting against the adani mine is definitely a constructive and useful exercise.

  13. Trish Corry

    *That should say protesting aimlessly including mining.I also gave an example of what I see as an aimless argument that is projected by those he identify with “right wing”

  14. Matters Not

    Seems to me that the ‘locals’ want more than jobs – they want high paying jobs which is why many moved into places like Moranbah (a coal town) in the first place which once was surrounded by nearly 30 coal mines.. There were also FIFOs and DIDOs who helped the town prosper – but also had negative affects on the ‘community’. Sure while wages were high, the cost of living was also – at one stage the highest in Queensland. But it didn’t matter because money was in abundance.

    There was also a massive property boom. Some made a fortune while some of the latecomers now have a massive mortgage – not helped by a cut to wages in the order of 30% plus, even for those who still have jobs.

    They lived through the good times – coal mining jobs that paid rather well. That’s what they want again. They don’t want jobs in sectors like tourism which is notoriously low paid. Watch as PHON capitalises in the coming State election. PHON offers hope – false as it may be.

  15. diannaart


    I am not “stuck” on anything, rather I was inspired by your article and following on from what you had written, exploring ideas, that’s all. These ideas may be good or bad, however, I believe we all have something to offer and being labelled “stuck” is insulting given I put thought into whatever I write.

  16. Trish Corry

    Well Johno. I say to you and Paul Walter, besides you both displaying an overt air of moral and intellectual superiority, you fail to see the point of the article. Hint: the article is not about mining. It is though about how people are so ingrained in their positions (defining as left or right) that they are unable to consider various facets of a situation/argument/topic. Including Adani. The Article is primarily about how this type of discourse is regressive and no way shapes political progressive debate in a positive way. If people protest it should have a serious aim and other harm should not come from it. Ie ending mining does impact on existing communities and families. That’s not a win. A win is looking for a happy medium as Kaye has done with a range of solutions. This is what politicians and activists should be doing. Thanks for stopping by to read though. I think it may be too soon to ask you if environmental activism comes from a position of privilege when people can’t put food on the table ?

  17. Trish Corry

    No worries. You mentioned it twice and I read it that you took offence. I just wanted to clarify.

  18. Trish Corry

    Matters not your last line will be a reality if more people increasingly ignore the fact they are not protesting a mine, but protesting to prevent opportunities and income for many families. (in their eyes) These people will feel forgotten if people don’t want a mine, but also don’t give a stuff about nothing in it’s place for jobs. Ie no solutions. I don’t think people expect the same money though. I think those days are gone.

  19. Matters Not

    TC re:

    people increasingly ignore the fact they are not protesting a mine, but protesting to prevent opportunities and income for many families

    I think most (outside) people are in fact protesting a mine(s) and as you say aren’t thinking about the ‘miners’ and those who depend on same as well. That’s not exceptional. For many of these ‘outsiders’, they heard repeatedly about the high wages paid and how goof life was. That now there’s (undoubtedly) hard times and probably worse to come possibly puts them in the same position as themselves.

    I’ve been through that area on any number of occasions – both while I was working and now since I retired – and I was always impressed with how Moranbah ‘felt’ – mown lawns, nice Tavern, great sporting facilities, medical centres, good schools and the like. Nevertheless I can’t see the tourism potential. No Stockman’s Hall of Fame, no Australian Workers Heritage Centre (thanks Tom Burns). There’s only limited room for so many ‘tourist’ attractions

  20. Michael Taylor

    This resonates with me:

    … the Corbyn and Sanders movements demonstrate that young people are indeed engaged and are willing to be heard.

    If only we had a Sanders or a Corbyn in Australia and if only more young people cared about the politics and policies that control their lives.

  21. guest


    you speak of “food on the table”, but another mine is not the answer.

    You say that people have been gearing up for this mine for years. That would have to be with head in the sand denial of the science of Climate Change.

    It is no good claiming “left” vs “right” or yes/no. It is up to the people in the regions to make up their mind how they are going to cope with coal as stranded assets. No good belly-aching about it; it is going to happen because it must.

    So the problem is that at present the Qld Labor government (and Federal, apparently) cannot think of any alternative economic measures beyond digging up coal, and the Coalition, with its “small government, jobs and growth” mantra, has nothing to offer either.

    And the people of the region cannot see past coal. No good screaming when they are told the bleeding obvious.

  22. Trish Corry

    Ok thanks for the heads up. I’ll let the people of Sydney know it’s up to them to find solutions for transport infrastructure required, all without lobbying and Government intervention. I believe in Govt intervention for job creation. Leaving it up to the people to struggle on or move with the free market is not an ideal solution. I am quite pleased that hardly anyone has commented on any aspect of this article, but have misrepresented me as a pro mining advocate and argued fiercely against the reason a mine should not exist and ignoring the existence of entire communities. It is a remarkable phenomena and unless it’s recognised, it’s a downward spiral from here.

  23. burniebobthe_b_

    Trish you’re a local and you may be able o clear up something for me.If Adani raise the $ it wouldn’t matter what the QLD government said as they have final approval don’t they. Don’t the Feds over rule them on this
    So I think that with a LNP Federal Government there for 2 more years and a strong chance of another term and a Liberal-National -PHON Government about to become a reality in QLD poor old Annastacia is on a hiding to nothing on this issue

  24. Trish Corry

    I don’t agree we will see a LNP PHON govt. the NAÏF funding calls for state cooperation. Labor has not given that as of yesterday. The ball is in Turnbull’s court. Labor is right to stick to no funding. A broken promise has severe consequences. Trad was correct to push this. A new coking coal mine was discovered in Clermont yesterday. This may bring a new ball game, but we shall see.

  25. king1394

    Facts cannot be ‘left’ or ‘right’. Facts simply are. But people respond to facts without analysing what they mean according to some jigsaw puzzle view of the world (people who support capital punishment almost always seem to be ‘pro-life/anti abortion, for example). Philosophy, on the other hand has disappeared. People do not seem to develop a principled set if ideas by which they live.
    So in the example of live exports, the fact might be: cattle can be exported live and killed when they reach their destination. Responses to this can vary from recognising this as an efficient way to move fresh meat through to horror at the implicit cruelty involved. Philosophy would reflect ideals that could range from: this is a good way to get fresh meat to people in countries where refrigeration is inadequate; this is a good way to deliver fresh meat to people who have particular religious and/or cultural beliefs about how meat should be prepared, to this is a terrible idea because Australian workers could be slaughtering and value adding the meat we export, thus creating jobs at home; or this is a terrible idea because we should have greater respect for all living things. Philosophies might support values about the pre-eminence of humanity, or the rights of animals

    At the moment too many issues are presented in a sensationalist fashion and people respond by saying this is ‘good’ or ‘bad’ , and debate that collapses

  26. Trish Corry

    Thank you King! Totally agree.

  27. diannaart


    Clearly and succinctly written, thank you.

  28. guest

    @King 1394,

    There is a difference between slaughtering cattle and burning coal: eating meat is a habit indulged by many and rejected by others who might point out the costs of cattle eating grass and drinking water.

    The matter of Climate Change affects the world; it is not just a cultural matter. You might like to read Naomi Klein (2014) and her espousal of the power of community.

    Governments, on the other hand, are too bound up with ideology (including neo-con globalisation and economics) and are too often far from community consensus.

    A community which defies the facts of Climate Change science is merely supporting the neo-con globalisation economics which commenters on this site take pains to criticise. Is that the kind of contradiction you are promoting, King1394?

  29. diannaart

    @ guest

    I did not interpret King1394’s comments in the same way.

    I saw a nuanced commentary on the disparate elements of many disputes, in King’s case, that of live animal export. Not as a point by point comparison to the issues we face with climate change.

    Except for the myriad points of view which often divide us; to some there is just black and white, right or left, good or bad. To many others, including myself, there are many ways to look at an issue. The important thing is to invite ALL ideas, inputs, solutions and, yes, weed out the ludicrous (such as PHON-type empty headedness) and sift through what works for the most people for the long term.

  30. Wayne Turner

    Sadly to have better political discourse,we need a whole new main stream media,where issues are discussed seriously,from non-biased real experts,and a better electorate.

  31. Matters Not

    king1394 – yes! Facts are ‘meaningless’ in themselves. When people cite ‘facts’ in an argument, it’s the person (or the other) who attributes the ‘meaning’ to same. Usually any ‘argument is all about the ‘meaning’ that’s given to agreed ‘facts. Facts never ‘speak’ for themselves. They never have a voice.

    Here’s a ‘factual’ example: Malcolm Turnbull holds his investments in the Cayman Islands. Yes it’s a ‘fact’ and on a site such as this, people are more likely than not to give an outrage ‘meaning* to such a fact. Elsewhere the same ‘fact;’ would be met with applause. Same ‘fact’ but different ‘meaning’?

    If you think about it, ‘facts’ in themselves can’t have a ‘meaning’. Meaning attribution always lies with humans – never with facts.

    Some may call it ‘interpretation’, I prefer to call it ‘meaning’ making’. But it’s not down to facts – it’s down to humans.

  32. Matters Not

    king1394 re:

    Philosophy, on the other hand has disappeared

    Not sure about that. Philosophy defined as: the study of general and fundamental problems concerning matters such as existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind, and language seems to be all around us. Part of everyday life? And perhaps always will be? Almost part of the human ‘condition’?

    Reminded of Gramsci who wrote:

    “All men are intellectuals, but not all men have in society the function of intellectuals”

    Or in that tradition, this quote:

    It is essential to destroy the widespread prejudice that philosophy is a strange and difficult thing just because it is the specific intellectual activity of a particular category of specialists or of professional and systematic philosophers. It must first be shown that all men are ‘philosophers’, by defining the limits and characteristics of the ‘spontaneous philosophy’ which is proper to everybody

    Yes, it’s this proper to everybody notion that resonates with me. Thus, all people ‘philosophize’. But that’s just the meaning I give to the ‘philosophy’ concept.

  33. Keith


    Underpinning action against the Adani mine is neither left or right, nor green; it is underpinned by science. Science is neither left nor right, it offers a prism to examine matters in a very rational way. Our politicians both LNP, and to a lesser extent Labor ignore science. Politicians world wide generally made promises to hold down greenhouse gases at Paris; instead we have a business as usual approach.

    Pretty well on a weekly basis ( sometimes shorter) major events are happening that get little press coverage in relation to extreme events:

    Aaron Thierry, in a presentation titled “The Brutal Logic of Climate Change” dated March 2017, puts extreme events into perspective:

    The Adani mine would be the largest coal mine in the Southern Hemisphere, scientists have been saying we need to leave fossil fuels in the ground. The LNP pushed the concept of entitlement; they are the ones pushing for coal mines hardest, creating huge costs for future generations. Already there are places around Earth where they verge on being inhospitable through a combination of warmth and humidity. Other parts of the world are verging on not having enough water resources.

  34. guest


    you ask for more understanding of the lived experience of people in coal-mining communities. But you must also consider the lived experience of other people who oppose coal-mining – such as tourist operators on the Great Barrier Reef, environmentalists, agriculturalists, fishing industry, those who understand Climate Change…

    While you ask for a debate with more understanding, there are those, even in government, who would restrict the debate to those considered to be more immediately affected, within a certain distance. It is a kind of censorship. But the burning of fossil fuels and the resulting increase in temperature affects people world-wide.

    So we can go beyond State boundaries to people on Pacific islands, people in long-term drought forced to migrate, people affected by food or water insecurity, other people who are affected by the decline in the use of coal.

    Around the world people are working on a fossil fuels free environment. Coal is becoming a stranded asset.

    It is short sighted to believe that in the case of coal, it is a matter of business-as-usual.

  35. paul walter

    Look, I am not suggesting the Palaszczuk government is not under unfair pressure from vested interests in all of this.

    I just feel that the globalised conditions under which communities have to defend themselves are not presented as appropriate and necessary background and context for something that should instead be a call for deeper community input and control rather than manufactured acquiescence in a information vacuum.

  36. Trish Corry

    Thanks guest. But as per previous comments this post is not about the pros and cons of Adani. I have not asked anyone to apply the methodology of phenomenology to understand the lives experience of miners. What I am asking for is for politicians and activists not to lose site of the fact that they are not just protesting a mine but job opportunities for families and to have an actual win, they should think about how to counteract that if you don’t want the mine. The article is about aimlessness in politics not Adani.

  37. Trish Corry

    As per my response to guest. Thanks for your comment

  38. Trish Corry

    People see job opportunities in fields they are skilled in. They either want that or other similar job opportunities or jobs they can be trained for. 6% to 19% unemployment is the scope of the region.

  39. guest


    you raised the issue of the Adani mine and of free speech – and rightly so. We need current practical examples to discuss your more philosophical approach.

    I have included both examples in my posts, and I have discussed the roles of both those in favour and those against – as well as the positions taken by governments.

    At the centre of your article is the matter of “job opportunities for families”. Quite frankly, the Adani mine offers few jobs, despite what Adani says. The case against Adani has been widely documented, which makes both Labor and the Coalition look ignorant and wedged in political juggling.

    Nor is it just the government that must have aims. As I pointed out early, the community must be involved, but to rely only on government aims is not enough. Robin Klein writes about community involvement in matters of great importance. She says that in such matters we are all “activists”.

    So what are the plans of the mining community for when coal-mining becomes redundant?

  40. diannaart


    You claim that you require evidence of government and private action. Many have supplied this (not so much government), you said yourself that you appreciated Kaye Lee’s input and there has been more from other readers here. You also claim that this article is not about Adani, you included this latest piece of corporate parasitism, yet do not wish to discuss Adani as a part of the general discussion of your opinion piece.

    Paul Walter, quite rightly, questions the involvement of corporate interests behind the QLD & Federal governments – without transparency how can we, the public, properly discuss anything? Is not this the thrust of your article, to express opinions without branding of left or right, right or wrong?

    Colour me confused, (admittedly not difficult) but could you clarify in more precise rather than general terms what you want to discuss?

    Thank you

  41. Mick Byron

    Michael Taylor
    “If only we had a Sanders or a Corbyn in Australia and if only more young people cared about the politics and policies that control their lives.” It seems recent history shows the young withdrawing from the political processes or to some extent turning Right in significant numbers
    How one million young people staying home elected Donald Trump

    Almost nine million young people aged 18-29 voted for Trump, compared to about 13 million who voted for Hillary. Within this group, young white voters were more likely to support Trump (about 48 per cent to Clinton’s 43 per cent). The number of young African Americans and Latinos voting Republican went up by one percentage point for each ethnic group.

    Labour ‘would win the election’ if only young people voted
    Just 40 percent of under 40s said they were ‘certain to vote’ in the new poll.

    Read more:

    Why does Le Pen get so much support from young voters?
    Marine Le Pens National Front doubled it’s membership with 50% of the new recruits being in the 18 to 30 bracket

  42. Johno

    I like the whaling industry analogy for the coal industry.

    In 1846, the U.S. owned 640 whaling ships, more than the rest of the world put together and tripled. At its height, the whaling industry contributed $10 million (in 1880 dollars) to GDP, enough to make it the fifth largest sector of the economy. Whales contributed oil for illuminants, ambergris for perfumes, and baleen, a bonelike substance extracted from the jaw, for umbrellas.
    Fifty years later, the industry was dead. The active whaling fleet had fallen by 90 percent. The industry’s real output had declined to 1816 levels, completing a century’s symmetry of triumph and decline.

    Many reasons contributed to the decline but the main reason would be the change over to oil based products.

    So another industry in our evolution dies and we have to adapt and move forward.

  43. Trish Corry

    Please point them out Diana, as I haven’t seen other solution driven answers. The article is not about the pros and cons of Adani. The article is about aimlessness in politics as the title suggests. The comments are not unexpected as the entire point of my post is that no one identifies with the human factor of a successful anti Adani protest (is mine shut down means no jobs) a successful protest with an aim would be advocacy around alternative jobs. It is meant to make people think that attached to environmental activism around stopping industry also prevents jobs. The larger question is should/do we care as a society about that?

  44. Trish Corry

    I guess the question is x amount of jobs may mean nothing to people who aren’t waiting for them, but it means something for those who do. Yes I agree about community. I am referring to the anti Adani community as quite frankly the communities waiting for these jobs are most like not part of this activist community. They aren’t the ones calling for it to cease.

  45. diannaart

    Please point them out Diana, as I haven’t seen other solution driven answers. The article is not about the pros and cons of Adani.

    If the article is not about Adani, then why are you asking me to point out solution driven answers?

    I asked for clarification, please help, as I said I am easily confused.

    BTW, I spell my name Dianna – 2 n’s, capiche?

  46. guest

    Political aims are quite clear with regard to supporting Adani. The Coalition wants coal to produce “cheap, affordable” electricity and it subsidises fossil fuels (this despite Turnbull’s previous stance on Climate Change and because he has caved in to right wing deniers to keep his job). Labor supports Adani despite its ideological opposition against Adani (because it supports the science of Climate Change) and stalls because it is afraid that a position against Adani will look like it does not care about jobs.

    Meanwhile the coal mining communities hold onto a vain hope that Adani will provide “tens of thousands of jobs” (Turnbull’s words) despite clear proof that it will not.

    This kind of muddle and confusion is exactly what stops Oz from discussing Climate Change honestly. So many vested interests.

    One tactic is not to mention Climate Change at all. Another is an emotional appeal to jobs and “food on the table”.

    So far, no plans to deal with the end of coal mining.

    PS, on radio today, talk of “black lung” being ignored too much for 30 years.

  47. Trish Corry

    Sorry Dianna. I’m not asking anyone to do anything. The article was supposed to provoke thought about activism having an aim. I have used two different examples. On is usually an argument from the right one the domain primarily of the left. Both “successful” activist outcomes have a negative consequence as a result. As a negative affect occurs on others, the larger question posed is this ok? Do we care? For example is it ok to fight to prevent an airport being built (job creation) if koalas were at risk of extinction. Please note that is hypothetical! Is it ok to have successful activism to indiscriminate freedom of speech if others are harmed? Is that a success? Is it ok to shut down a mine when it will provide jobs and stimulate jobs for surrounding communities? Is that a success? If the communities were to be cared about activists and politicians against the mine would offer alternative solutions to counteract the negative affect of a “successful” activism of shutting down the mine. This article is about our participation in activism, positive and negative affect and what is a success. It is quite telling that those fiercely opposed to Adani only respond to that aspect of the article to put forth their argument as to why it shouldn’t go ahead.

  48. Trish Corry

    Thanks guest. So I guess the question is, as a society what are we prepared to give up for the wider goal of climate change? As progressives is that the only focus or do we think about and fight for mitigating the negative outcomes that come from success in that area? On the flip side it is clear the FOS advocates deny harm comes to anyone from FOS and it is the individual responsibility of the recipient to be resilient to harmful FOS. I hear the same in the Anti Adani argument. Activists aren’t concerned with the negative consequences (jobs economy) but argue either it’s based on a lie or it is up to individuals to move with the market and go where the jobs are and communities close down, they have before etc. is our role as progressive activists to shirk responsibility for negative outcomes the same as FOS activists do?

  49. diannaart

    The following article contains solutions (AKA opportunities) that are either happening or proposed for far North QLD, right now.

    The myth that Adani coal is boom or bust for Queensland economy

    By Giles Parkinson29/05/2017

    Australia wants to keep its coal rolling

    There are a whole bunch of reasons why the Adani coal mine does not make sense: for the environment, the climate and on basic economics.

    The latest results from Adani Power, revealing over the weekend a $US954 million loss ($A1.3 billion) for the last financial year, its fifth loss in a row, and a growing preference for domestic over imported coal, not to mention the endless delays and requests for government support, underline the fact that the project makes no financial sense.

    And we know that on environmental and climate grounds, it makes no sense either. Rescuers minister Matt Canavan counts Adani’s benefits on the basis that the mine will last 60 years. That timeframe assumes that the world will not act on climate change.

    Another myth that refuses to go away, and seems to be prosecuted by everyone from the Coalition, to the state Labor government and to the local councils, is that the Queensland economy depends on Adani and its Carmichael mine for jobs and investment, and that the region’s economy would be devastated if the mine didn’t go ahead.

    It is simply not true. For a start, the inflated figures being pedalled by those state and federal politicians – the claim of 10,000 jobs – have been debunked by Adani itself, and its more modest investment plans now suggest maybe one-tenth of that, at best.

    And perhaps those politicians should have a look around and see what else is happening in the region. It is really quite stunning: some 4,200MW of large-scale wind and solar projects, all of them in central to northern Queensland, and billions of dollars worth of other projects in the pipeline, including biofuels and even a battery gigafactory in Townsville.

    The list of already committed projects, compiled by a private consortium known as Future North, include world leading solar resources, world leading solar and storage projects, a world-leading solar-wind-storage hybrid project, and a unique solar and pumped hydro plant proposed for the old Kidston gold mine.

    Together, they represent investment of more than $7 billion and jobs of more than 3,200. And as a bonus, they will deliver electricity at an average cost of around $80/MWh, possibly less. Already, it is cheaper than the price of the Queensland grid in the first half of the year – and the low price will be locked in for 25 years.

    Some are already going ahead, courtesy of some targeted support from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency and the Clean Energy Finance Corp, or in the case of Sun Metals’ 116MW solar plant near Townsville, in a bid to cut electricity costs and underpin the expansion of the local zinc refinery.

    Another 3,000 jobs and $4 billion of investment are on the cards from half a dozen of biofuel projects that are also in the pipeline, and another 2,000 direct jobs and 5,000 indirect jobs could emerge if the consortium led by Boston Energy and Innovation, and supported by US giant Eastman Kodak, goes ahead with a battery storage gigafactory in Queensland.

    “Townsville and the region are sitting on a gold mine of opportunities,” Oliver Yates, the former head of the Clean Energy Finance Corporation and a spokesman for Future North, told RenewEconomy on Friday in our Energy Insiders podcast.

    Yates says the mixture of solar, wind, storage, hydro, biofuels and manufacturing makes the region ideally placed to be “the centre of action” in Australia’s energy transition.

    “The opportunities that they have dwarf anything that they could get (from coal) … tese are sunrise industries. That town gets subject to a lot of pork barreling and nothing ever happens. And no one talked much about solar and wind …. and yet it is happening.

    “They are siting in the land of opportunity. It’s the only place in Queensland that has got wind, it’s the got best solar resources, and best water resources. Townsville should be the centre of action.”

    The projects include the soon-to-be completed Lakeland solar and storage facility, the massive wind, solar and storage facility at the Kennedy Energy park, the Kidston solar and hydro hybrid plant, large wind farms such as Emerald and Forsyth and others, and a host of large-scale solar farms proposed by Pacific Hydro, Esco Pacific, Eco Energy World, FRV, Windlab, Overland, Edify and others.Gympie-solar-Image-Public-Domain

    Future North is proposing a North Queensland Company should be created – with a minimal amount of government seed funding – to ensure that these projects come to pass.

    “We believe there is a massive opportunity for North Queensland to become an economic powerhouse across a range of industries,” a new document says, adding that it is not a choice between new and old industries, but recognises the abundant land, water and sun it has for the many future sunrise industries.

    Still, many in the Coalition are locked into those sunset industries. The Guardian reports on Monday that Queensland MP George Christensen is still pushing for a coal-fired generator to be built in north Queensland, somehow blaming large-scale renewables (which haven’t even been completed yet) for high electricity prices this summer.

    Christensen is one of the strongest advocates for the Galilee coal mine, alongside deputy prime minister Barnaby Joyce and his former chief of staff Matt Canavan, now minister for resources and northern Australia. Joyce is among many in the Coalition with strong ties to Gina Rinehart and GVK.

    The economics of coal, however, is looking increasingly miserable, with the cost of electricity from new wind plants and solar plants about 50 per cent cheaper than new coal plants, based on recent bidding. ARENA boss Ivor Frischknecht has said repeatedly in recent weeks that wind and solar is cheaper than current grid prices.

    Indeed, so much has changed since Adani bought the Carmichael project seven years ago, and Clive Palmer, Gina Rinehart and another Indian group GVK also invested in Galilee Basin coal deposits.

    At that time, solar power cost around $400/MWh, and wind energy was roughly $150/MWh. Batteries of today’s scale were still being developed in laboratories; coal demand was rising, and was seen as critical to the economic growth of the developing world.

    But what might have been considered a gutsy investment decision then would likely be seen today as daft. Solar costs are down 80 per cent, wind has fallen by two-thirds. The cost of coal is rising, renewables are cheaper and the two largest growth countries for coal imports, India and China, are reducing imports.

    Indeed, as the Adani results over the weekend reveal, the company is now looking at using domestic coal supplies for its massive Mundra mega-coal plant. India is focused on reducing imports of coal, and also encouraging a domestic solar manufacturing base as part of its ambitious renewable energy targets.

    Little wonder that Adani is looking for third parties, including governments, to underwrite the cost, and bear the risk, of long-dated infrastructure such as rails and ports.

    “It is an admission that (Adani Power) can’t afford expensive imported coal from Carmichael,” IEEFA’s Tim Buckley wrote in an analysis of the results on Monday.

    And there are yet more developments that point to a bleak picture for coal in Asia, including the cancellation of 14 coal projects in India, and the announced closure of coal plants in South Korea.

    And that is why Future North wants to jump in now, to ensure that the pipeline of wind and solar projects gets the finance from the private sector it is looking for.

    “NQC will secure financial support from investors who understand that renewables are potentially more sustainable and cost competitive than new fossil fuel generation in this region,” the document says. “These investors will fund the acceleration of the major solar projects in the region.”

    It concludes: “Future North is a vision for a powerful and resilient for the future economy for the north Queensland region and Australia, built on industries reflecting new technology such as solar, wind, biofuels, hydro, agriculture, education, tourism and technology.”

    In other words, it doesn’t need new coal mines or new coal generation. Perhaps the politicians can get excited about clean energy jobs and investment too.

    The myth that Adani coal is boom or bust for Queensland economy

  50. Trish Corry

    Yes good contribution. However in this instance solutions don’t need to be narrowed to alternative energy. My question still remains should we as activists care or not care about the negative impacts of successful environmental campaigns?

  51. paul walter

    I must applaud diannart.

    Her approach is is remarkable in its patience, as she seeks to tease out information that should have been easily proffered rather than obscured for reasons an onlooker can only wonder at.

  52. Trish Corry

    I applaud Dianna too. She has asked questions to try to understand the main argument presented in this piece. Unlike others who have seen the word Adani and gone off on a tangent outside of what has been proposed. I hope the compare and contrast of FOS and the Adani argument regarding the activists on both ‘sides’ disregarding resultant negative harm in the pursuit of a “successful outcome” and if negative resultant outcomes should be considered or ignored by activists is now much clearer. Thankfully, only a few people did not understand and thought this was a pro-con about Adani.

  53. Keith

    You ask: ” My question still remains should we as activists care or not care about the negative impacts of successful environmental campaigns?”

    In 2003, Aaron Thierry states that a heat wave killed 75,000 people in the Northern Hemisphere; thousands have since died through heat waves. Millions are killed by emissions created through the use of fossil fuels. CO2 created by use of fossil fuels, a greenhouse gas, creates extra warmth in the atmosphere and water bodies, it allows for nasty disease vectors to expand. So the few jobs which potentially might be created come at the cost of death to many people, an increase in health issues.

    Forty years ago, when I was approaching 30, there were not weekly or more reports about communities being flooded causing death, loss of infra-structure, houses being washed away, or cars being overwhelmed by flood waters. So the Adani mine comes at a huge cost.

    We have already prodded the dragon … loss of stability in Greenland, methane voiding, Antarctica, countries relying on glacial melt water for water resources, extreme weather events etc. Whole communities already need to be moved due to being impacted by storm surges.

    Developing the Adani mine represents a fairly small cost when set against the costs created through the various damages that will accrue through developing the largest coal mine in the Southern Hemisphere.

  54. Trish Corry

    Hi Keith. Thanks. Is your argument that the Adani mine will kill 10s of thousands of people? When will this occur? Why are activists not campaigning to shut down all the other 20 odd mines in QLD if this is such a crisis? Why only Adani? Your argument is the job losses are nothing in the grand scheme of things. But they are for people who are worried about being able to survive without work. However, as an activist what do you propose to these people to convince them, that they should happily forgo this opportunity ‘for the “greater good.” There are many, many things that we do that contribute to climate change. Do you agree that blaming Adani for the collapse of the entire world, is a solid argument? As we move towards stronger activism towards climate change, which will effect any industry that contributes to climate change, should we consider resultant negative impacts on people and community?
    A truly successful campaign should see a huge impact on job losses and closes of any offensive industry. The way we drive vehicles (in a perfect world, CC activists would remove our vehicles). What is the impact for society if that is a successful outcome? It is a very complicated issue. But we do need to discuss it, and we do need to think about the negative consequences as activists. There ARE negative impacts from successful climate change campaigns, through job losses and impacts on the economy – with people in low socio economic communities some of the people who will bear the biggest brunt of the forth coming changes. The question remains. For the ‘greater good” of environmentalism, should environmental activists care? Or are perfect environmental outcomes the holy grail and nothing else should matter?

  55. Matters Not

    Keith – the macro argument you advance is valid. And without question. What TC is asking – what do we do about the ‘effects’ and ‘affects’ at the micro level? Those who will ‘suffer’ in the immediate.

    Should we just ‘sacrifice’ them for the greater good? And ignore their suffering?

  56. Trish Corry

    Hi Paul. the pros and cons of Adani, is not what the discussion is about. Otherwise, I would have written and article on the pros and cons of Adani. The question is much bigger. Have a look at Matter’s not’s comment. He puts it quite succinctly.

  57. paul walter

    Best practice is not oppositional to jobs, false binary.

    The opposite should be the case, not an excuse to obviate one for the other for disreputable reasons.

    Do not outrage the text either as to ecology or interconnected economcs and pol economics, logic and principle demand that.

  58. Trish Corry

    Best practice is not oppositional to jobs?
    Well by best practice, that could also mean using regulation to minimise environmental harm. For example, I have asked a number of strong anti-Adani voice which of the 200 environmental provisions they don’t agree with and in all instance, I have received no response to that question. If there is an issue with any of the 200 environmental provisions, should they be changed? Yes, of course they should. Should people protest without knowing the safeguards the environmental provisions may bring? Probably not.
    Could you please clarify if you believe that climate activism that will shut down industry (as this activism progresses) means that there will be no job losses as a result of climate activism?

  59. paul walter

    There are ways of handling the process…i think to back to the vehemently rejected Tasmanian reconstruction package offered back in 2004 re Gunns and the woodchipping devastation through second rate practices in Tasmania.

    Just recalling a snippet from a recent Quiggin thread on these issues, that better quality coal could be sourced from other mines in QLD anyway.

    The concept of job losses is a bit farcical when Adani opted to automate the mining complex after promising ten thousand jobs anyway?

    Good thread, great work.

  60. Trish Corry

    Your comment about the other mines interests me. For example, as an anti-Adani advocate are you opposed to all the other mines? Will you be opposed to the new coal seam discovered in Clermont last week, if that goes ahead. For example, that will be approx 300 direct jobs for people in the town of Clermont, plus onflow jobs. For the same environmental argument, should this mine also be protested? I guess for me, on the outside looking in, with strong focus on jobs and not environmentalism; the Adani arguments do not show consistency, considering there are so many other mines in QLD.

  61. paul walter

    Btw, your comments remind of the usual destructive development at all any cost line taken by Murdoch, which precludes rational public exploration of this sort of thing anyway.

    ps, no, I don’t put you in same basket as of you has didactic concerns and am sure I know which of you doesn’t fit the bill.

    Thinking on it, Isnt this latest proposal emblematic of how these things are handled over a generation, or at least since the rise of magnate funded climate and ecology denial think tanks and tabloid attacks on the concept of sustainable development?

  62. Trish Corry

    I am not sure how Paul. I think I am posing quite serious questions, considering environmental activism will only increase and not decrease. I am not sure how if direct negative impacts on communities that rely on industries that contribute to climate change should or should not be ignored; is a question that is destructive or murdochesque.

    However, you may possibly see that, because as I demonstrate in my article, the same disregard for the negative consequence of harm on people with freedom of speech is ignored by the “right” “for the greater good” I have written this to compare and contrast for this reason.

    The same as the majority of the adani arguments by “the left” are ignoring the direct impacts on the adjacent regional communities.

    The reason I wrote this article, is I see that similarity. I believe it should be addressed, as I feel strongly that it is a gap in activism. Once again, this is not about the pros and cons of Adani, this is a much bigger question. Anyway, I am off to bed. I will answer any other questions tomorrow.

  63. paul walter

    You beat me by a second.. eyes are sore.

  64. paul walter

    I think you jump to a conclusion in presuming I am an “anti Adani advocate”, per se.

    Also it is not correct to suggest that I am unconcerned with impacts on regions that may miss out on jobs.

    I did suggest re my Gunns comment, that alternative means of a fiscal equalisation type, perhaps a greater emphasis on fishing, tourism etc (the reef , provided it survives pollutant spills and global warming)

    One notion from the Quiggin thread was the jeopardisation of the project through Murdoch grandstanding.

  65. paul walter

    I think in the end, you have to go back to arrangements made by Abbott and earlier John Howard, as to disbursement of monies based on political influence divorced from actuality, rather than merit:

    Am not against jobs but am against soft corruption:

  66. Johno

    Why do you make the assumption that environmental activists don’t care what happens to the jobs / people affected by there campaigns? To me this seems to be a no brainer, of course we would care.

  67. Mick Byron

    Trish Corry
    An interesting article.
    I mentioned some time ago that I attended a funeral in Rockhampton and expressed my opposition to Adani at the wake, almost to be run out of town
    It did make me stop and think of the ramifications to both sides of an environmental/social dilemma and I found this article-link provided of interest
    “One might argue that if the aggregate benefits of a policy exceed aggregate costs, the policy will be put into place. Yet, as political scientists note, policy enactment depends not necessarily on its aggregate benefits and costs, but also on how these benefits and costs are distributed across different sectors or industries. This is a critical insight in understanding why policies like those for climate change mitigation are stalling in the United States and show varying progress across the world.1”

  68. Trish Corry

    Hi Johno. For about the last 6 – 8 months I have participated in the Adani Debate. When the question of jobs is brought up, apart from the general abuse about being a short sighted moron, coal lover etc., The frequent responses are:
    There are hardly any jobs
    The jobs are based on a lie
    What are 1500 jobs compared to the XXX amount of jobs in the reef
    Tourism jobs are more important than mining jobs
    People just have to accept this and move to where the jobs are
    There won’t be any jobs if we don’t have a planet
    All the jobs will be 457 visa jobs anyway
    and probably one of the more strange comments: Don’t pretend to care about jobs – what’s in it for you? You should declare you hidden interest
    And other similar comments.
    There is not an evident theme from the Anti-Adani protesters that they have any concern for the loss of jobs in the region if the mine does not go ahead.
    I would not say Get Up Cares. They are one of the larger entities vocal in this protest. For example, they have not placed a voice in the debate about how to address the concern for jobs. They have not expressed empathy for people waiting for jobs that will not get them, in the event of their successful campaign to stop the mine.
    Do all environmentalist not care what happens to jobs? Well it is not evident in broad sense, nor an observable sense. I guess this could be the equivalent of the “not all men”movement. Without going back through the thread, have you offered a range of alternative solutions? The only person I can remember doing that is Kaye Lee and then Dianna who posted a link for alternative renewables jobs. Which is not my ideal but a start.
    I think if there was concern about how the economy and jobs will be affected in the anti-Adani debate, then this blog post would never have been written. There would be no compare and contrast against the same arguments that the freedom of speech advocates put up, that ignore harm of freedom of speech or shift the blame to the individual who receives the negative affect from the ‘success’ of that campaign.

  69. Trish Corry

    Hi Mick. This is an excellent contribution to this post and comments. Thank you very much for posting this. It speaks to the the same type of list I proposed in the Adani section to mitigate the harm caused by the loss of jobs. I do not see this as the job of politicians to offer these mitigating proposals, but the role of all activists. Also, unless we want the likes of Hanson to rise to prominence, the type of politician who feeds off this isolation and rejection; it MUST become our role as progressives to also come up with ideas to mitigate harm from successful environmental campaigns.

    I have tried to tell people when they say Anna P will lose the election if she supports Adani, that it is just as likely she will lose it, if she stops it. When she came to town for the week, it was standing room only with people listening intently about jobs and Adani and two people outside waving Anti-Adani placards. So your experience is not on that surprises me. One person’s reality, isn’t always another person’s reality.

    Another example is last night on Twitter someone Tweeted (about Adani) Well build a meatworks in CQ then and stop live cattle exports.

    This is clear example that many people protesting have zero idea about the region they are so loudly wanting to pull jobs from. Rockhampton is the Beef Capital of Australia and has two meat works. In addition, live cattle exports are important for our rural counterparts. I pointed out to her, her Tweet is simply saying “Yeh, cut jobs in that region and while you are at it – cut even more jobs.”

    If you are advocating to cut jobs (even if it is for a ‘for the better good’ reason) it helps to understand the area and the people you are targeting.

    I hope more people read the article you posted. It brings a lot more clarity to what I am proposing. Thanks again. I don’t feel quite so alone!

  70. Johno

    ‘There is not an evident theme from the Anti-Adani protesters that they have any concern for the loss of jobs in the region if the mine does not go ahead’

    This is not an ideal world as we all definitely know it. IMHO in an ideal world there would no coal mines as humans would have learn’t to live sustainiably, in an ideal world early settlers and aboriginals could have embraced each with love and worked together for each others common good, in an ideal world we would not need to spend trillions on military hardware etc.

    In my ideal world our government and australians would take this up and support the communities affected in their transition away from fossil fuels.

  71. Mick Byron

    Trish Corry
    I am old enough and close enough in location to have seen the ravages of the death of a Steel Industry in Port Kembla {Whyalla and Newcastle as well}
    I have always been of the belief that if industry is to be closed/opposed a reliable transitional fund need to be in place to provide support/training and relocation expenses if necessary for workers likely to be affected at a rate of dollars similar to lost income.If that means an increase in taxes to all,so be it.
    To their credit, rather than a them and us approach the A.W.U put forward innovative approaches and brought out the cost on losses from losing industry on the workforce.
    The report though dated gives a look into the affects on a Region when employment is lost
    The Value Of Steel To The Australian Economy

    From 2001 ICN Manufacturing Report:
    Research that the Industrial Supplies Office has published, Impacts on New and Related
    Businesses in Australian Manufacturing Sector June 2001.
    Demonstrates that for every $1 million of successful new or retained manufacturing business, the
    following effects flow on to the economy:
    $317,900 worth of tax revenue is generated;
    $1,626,000 worth of value
    added is generated;
    $211,700 in welfare benefits are saved; and 18 full time jobs are created.

    Of the 18 full time jobs created, 5 are created as a direct result of the new or retained manufacturing business. The remaining 13 are created as an indirect result of flow on effects.

    From 2007 ICN Manufacturing Report:
    For every additional $1 million of successful new or retained manufacturing business in 2005 06 ,

    the following effects flow through the economy:
    $1,236,000 of value added is generated
    12 fulltime jobs are created; and
    $394,000 of tax revenue is generated.
    ASI Assumptions on tonnes vs jobs:
    Assuming an average manufactured steel price of $5,000 / t
    (includes, material, fabrication, transport, painting and installation.)

    $1,000,000 = 200 tonnes of manufactured structural steel = 12 fulltime jobs.
    So for every 1,000 tonnes lost, we lose 60 jobs. And the Government loses $1,970,000 in tax revenue. (Source: ASI, 2009)

    I hold a belief that if opponents to an industry are committed to their case the should as the AWU did, put forward proposals to Government alternative solutions for the Region and we all should be committed to contrivution to such transition even if it means a 1 or 2% increase in personal tax

  72. Mick Byron

    “IMHO in an ideal world there would no coal mines as humans would have learn’t to live sustainiably,”
    The Party that proposed that would go the way of the Dodo.not to mention riots in the street as people lost basic comforts.

  73. Johno

    Mick Byron
    We could be going the way of the dodo.

  74. Trish Corry

    Thanks Mick. 100% agree. It has been hard to get my point across. The anti Adani protesters can be extremely viscous. I took about a month off from writing to start a fresh angle. Rather than reacting to other people to try to express this case, I had to put something up for people to react to. Thanks for that info as well. It is what should be happening.

  75. Keith


    Research and development, and installation of renewable energy projects will create far more jobs than the relatively few jobs created by the Adani coal mine. Adani is very involved in renewable energy projects in India. Scientists are telling us that we need to move as quickly away from fossil fuels as possible; millions are dying already, and billions of dollars are lost through extreme events. Munich Re has stated $175 billion for 2016 alone was lost through extreme events; which does not cover uninsured properties or those owned by government.

    We keep hearing about how technology will reduce jobs through the use of robots, driverless vehicles etc; yet, the LNP is abusive towards those unable to find employment in a market where it is a lottery to obtain a position. No innovation there, where many positions thought to be only possible to be completed by humans will increasingly be taken over by robots and computers; for example, driverless trucks at mine sites. The LNP rails against those unable to find employment, what is Labor’s attitude to a world increasingly going towards artificial intelligence?

    The cost of food is going up, some foods sources have been wiped out through extreme events; already there are millions of people in Africa who have lost their crops and livestock and reliant on International Agencies providing assistance. Climate change was not a cause of the Arab summer, but certainly had some influence.

    Lord Stern, and other economists have stated that as time goes on the cost of climate change goes up … we are currently in a climate emergency, and billions of dollars are being wasted/lost through extreme events.

    We are told that about 70,000 people are employed by various enterprises associated with the Great Barrier Reef; the GBR is at huge risk, already there has been a huge die off of coral. It does not make sense to develop an enterprise employing few people which puts at further risk an area that employs 10s of thousands more.

    Adani has been associated with the Cayman Islands, has the LNP done due diligence?

    The LNP has pushed the view of “clean coal”, a real con, it being a highly expensive technology which at best reduces emissions by about 20%. Coal provides a sunset industry, do we want to be caught out by stranded assets?

    While ISIS gets incredible attention; the two main matters that relate to human extinction are nuclear war and climate change.

  76. Johno

    The anti Adani protesters can be extremely viscous

    Have you been there Trish, facing bulldozers, ranks of cops on horses, irate aggressive people. The viciousness goes both ways.

  77. Trish Corry

    Johno my participation has been online. The same as the majority of people. It does not change the fact that many anti Adani protesters are extremely viscous. Even some Labor members. This is not a domain of the Greens, nor a personal reflection on any individual.

  78. Trish Corry

    Thanks Keith. The answer does not have to be renewables industry instead, but that is a start. One of Labor’s answers is a policy for quotas of apprenticeships in Govt infrastructure contracts. A strong focus on the service industry is another. Funding for jobs and training to transition is another. Another is affiliations such as Labor for the regions. However this requires a shift in thinking. Not a few policy ideas here and there. I hear your concern for climate change. I will put this question to you:
    Is perfect environmental success the ultimate, regardless of any negative consequences?”
    This is the key question. As progressive activists, I think it is important to decide if the negative consequences are important or not. If they are not, then the progress in this area will be resisted and stifled. If the consequences are important do you agree activist should include these consequences in their activism? If not? Why?

  79. Johno

    And what you say doesn’t change the fact that the viciousness goes both ways.

  80. paul walter


    And what defines this viscosity?

    Viscosity is about thickness, which is something that more likely relates to some stories about the desolate ALP (non) leadership in this morning’s msm.

  81. Trish Corry

    Johno, how does that weigh into a point that to raise the issue of jobs one is ridiculed attacked and not heard? The Anti Adani movement is large and is prepared to smash even the most sincerest of questions. It is in a way getting out of control, with some blaming Adani for anything that is going wrong in the world. SOME people are indeed are not willing to consider the negative impacts their success may cause. But are willing to defend it at all costs and escalate the argument to incredible tangents if a simple question of jobs is raised. I think pro Trump sensible debate is paramount.

  82. Mick Byron

    I’m not a proponent of Adani but I often wonder why the argument is either tourism OR mining and why there can’t be a peaceful coexistance of both if necessary as the GBR is 2,300 Kms in length, there are environmental protections in place for Adani to abide vy, protections can also be strenghtened and with the innovation in alternative enery those bright minds could also be working on enevirimental solutions,
    My understanding is the GBR is under threat from a large number of sources not Adani exclusively and my limited knowledge is that fertiliser and chemical run off along with fishing and tourist/tourist boat damage from anchors chains etc are the significant contributors to the reef problems along with global warming.
    I am a strong supporter of alternative energy and my home is carbon neutral but to most the cost to most is still too prohibitive at this stage{I too would like a Tesla S but $200,000 is beyond me}
    “what is Labor’s attitude to a world increasingly going towards artificial intelligence?”
    I don’t know but until costs are reduced substantially and the technology and advancement falls to affordable for the many and is proven then things remain questionable.
    What would your opinion be of some “left organisations” now arguing that a fresh look at Nuclear may be the future?

  83. Keith


    A business as usual pretty well assures we go the same way as the dodo.

    A couple of years ago some Glacial Scientists were complaining that models were not keeping up with what was happening in the environment in which they work. It is getting to the stage where an ice free Arctic for a day initially is within a decade +-, once that happens you can be quite sure that some nasty climate changes happen, creating oddly termed positive feedbacks.

    The use of artificial intelligence will continue to create job loss; we are not seeing innovation from politicians in regard to how to deal with this. Just like the horse and buggy, coal mining is on the way out; Tony Sea has a number of video clips pressing the matter of the increasing speed at which old technologies are superceded.

  84. Trish Corry

    Paul, you sniping is getting tiresome. Just saying. Please contribute to the debate. Words changing on phones is not a new phenomenon. You understand the intended context, yes?

  85. Johno

    ‘Anti Adani movement is large and is prepared to smash even the most sincerest of questions’
    Adani is large and wants to bulldoze a shit load of beautiful bush to dig a massive hole for a product that is on the downturn.
    To me this is definitely not rocket science and our erstwhile government can support us in our transition.

  86. Trish Corry

    Thanks for your response Johno. It is interesting that the concerns of jobless people can be flipped off because the company offering those jobs is not palatable to some. I’m afraid that will not make the concerns of the jobless go away.

  87. paul walter

    No, Trish. You just won’t get honest, will you.

  88. Trish Corry

    About what Paul? I still find it bizarre how no matter what case I put up in an article there is always one person prepared to make it personal. I welcome your contribution to the debate about if Environmental activists should or should not care about the negative consequences their successful campaigns may bring.

  89. Keith


    It has been the Northern area that is least impacted by agriculture that has been slammed by increasing warm waters. While the GBR has been in the news particularly, other coral reefs around Earth have also been hit hard by the warming Oceans created by climate change.
    Mick, I do not form my views about what “left views” are, everyday I obtain emails and Facebook references to science, that is how I determine my opinions.

    More CO2 in the atmosphere equals extra damage to weather systems and extra Ocean warmth.

    Artificial intelligence is already taking jobs, robots putting together vehicles and driverless trucks at mines, robots are even beginning to be used in surgery.

    The innovative LNP, and the more astute Labor Party need to consider how to deal with the inroads of artificial intelligence. The LNP could begin by stopping victimisation of unemployed to begin with.

  90. Keith

    Something I have noticed is that people now react more quickly when confronting a diverse opinion … now termed lies, before it was seen as a different opinion. A real erosion in community discussion.

  91. Johno

    A 700 kilometre strip of coastal mangrove running between NT and QLD has died off. DEAD, with quite likely no recovery. This disastrous event has been linked to climate change. What about the fishing industry and related jobs in this area. Is the labour government of Queensland making this a top priority ?

  92. Trish Corry

    Thanks Johno. I don’t ever position myself as a climate change denier and I understand your view. Is there a simple way for me to put the over arching question? I’m not sure.
    climate change advocacy has a negative outcome such as job loss and negative affect on the economy. You either agree or disagree with that statement.
    This then branches off
    Agree option a) Activists should include mitigating these consequences.
    1a. No. That is the role of the Govt.
    1b. Yes activist should advocate to also mitigate negative consequences as a result of successful environmental campaigns.
    1c. Activists and Govt should work together to mitigate negative consequences
    1d. No. It doesn’t matter. Successful environmental outcomes are all that matters. It’s up to the individual to respond to the negative affect (job loss)and take control of their own destiny.

    Regardless of how many examples of climate change affects you post, including perceived impacts from Adani and current impacts from other mining, the above question still stands. This is not a debate about the pros and cons of climate change. But the negative consequences of successful climate change activism and what should be done about that? Which option do you think is the most appropriate?

  93. Trish Corry

    With regards to the fishing industry, if you are talking about net trawling, the QLD Government compensated these fishermen and they are now assessing the positive affect on the increased tourist fishing this ban of net trawling fishing proposed it would do.

  94. Kaye Lee


    You are asking people to consider the consequences of activism on jobs but are not considering the consequences of the output from those particular jobs on the world. Despite all the evidence showing any jobs created would be few in number and of very uncertain tenure in the future, you cling to the idea that this proposal will provide much-needed employment. That seems highly unlikely even if it goes ahead due to their stated aim of making the mine automated from pit to port and the structural decline in demand. Or are you just thinking about the few hundred that would be involved for a little while in construction? That’s a very small spoonful of sugar that won’t help the medicine go down in the future.

    To use a rather fatuous example to make a point, we could employ lots of people all around the country to cut down every tree in Australia. Lots of jobs, even close to home, for a finite period. Cheap energy as we burn them or cheap paper and packaging as we pulp them. And then what?

    I guess we would be employing more in disaster relief and reconstruction after extreme weather events wreak their havoc. Heatwaves will see increased employment in hospitals and funeral services. The air-conditioning industry will see a boost which will just exacerbate the problem as we stay inside with the air-con blasting to avoid the 40 degree heat.

    Of course jobs are important. I still do not understand the government not supporting the car industry. But if Adani opens, existing coal mines will close so the unemployment will just be shifted to another place.

    The activism is not aimless. As you say, it is difficult for those of us who do not live in the area to offer specific solutions for job creation but many areas have been suggested – infrastructure, health, education, research, aged care, child care, agriculture, government administration, water management, mine regeneration, tourism, programs to assist Indigenous people, and yes, the dreaded renewable energy. The locals are best placed to help us out with ideas. Think outside new coal mines. Surely the area has more to offer than that?

  95. Johno

    Unclear. My comment is in relation to this massive die off and how it will effect the fishing industry as mangroves are spawning grounds. Is the government doing research into the ramifications from this die off ?

    This just came in my email box.. An MCG sized area of bush is cleared every three minutes in Qld. Why is Labour letting this happen ?

  96. Trish Corry

    Kaye I disagree. The impact of the industries on climate change is completely implicit in the reason for activism on climate change to shut down climate affecting industries. This is also not just about those who live in an area, but a broader question about activism. It does not only need to apply to the Adani example.

    “The activism is not aimless” only if you view that through a prism that perfect environmental outcomes are the ultimate success.
    The same statement viewed by people who are on the receiving end of a negative consequences of environmental activism of job loss and financial difficulties; they my view this activism as harsh, uncaring and feel isolated and not important.

    It is too difficult for people to understand that I am NOT pro mining or pro Adani I am pro jobs. It is significant for me to frame this using the Adani example though as it is a contemporary activism this IS ignoring the negative consequences of successful activism.

  97. Trish Corry

    Possibly write to Dr Steven Miles. This is not something I am across. We have had the banning of net trawling in QLD areas. That I can speak to. What exactly are the negative consequences of your example? And what is the activism connected to it?

  98. Trish Corry

    Kaye, can I refer you to to article Mick posted above. It is similar to what I’m saying but in the USA context

  99. Kaye Lee

    “perfect environmental outcomes are the ultimate success.”

    You forgo progress in pursuit of perfection. That is the mistake the Greens often make.

    How am I ignoring jobs? I am making as many suggestions as I can. There are many areas suffering high unemployment including where I live. I am happy to leave Adani out of the conversation because it ain’t gonna happen. So where to from there?

  100. Kaye Lee

    Mick’s post that you refer to is exactly what our carbon tax did yet the miners screamed blue murder and voted in Abbott to get rid of it.

    Exposed industries were compensated. Taxpayers had the tax-free threshold raised. Fixed income pension and welfare recipients got a twice-yearly clean energy supplement. Businesses were able to profit from reducing their energy use and trading their credits – it encouraged research and development by business of sustainable practice. Part of our electricity bill was for investment in renewable energy – all the things the Solutions article suggests.

    “The climate change debate in the United States seems to pit the predominantly educated, affluent, and urban pro-environment constituencies against relatively less privileged coal miners, manufacturing workers, and others in fossil fuel industries.”

    That statement smacks of pure self-interest. Those “less privileged coal miners” have been earning much more than teachers who spend four years studying and running up a large debt for the privilege of working for a fraction of what the miners have been getting – that’s if they can get a job which are increasingly contract or casual. And the fossil fuel industry receives an enormous amount in corporate welfare. We even pay for their exploration and provide the infrastructure they need to transport the resources we own to markets of their choice, The idea that all people who want action taken to mitigate climate change are all affluent is arrogant misinformed stereotyping specifically designed to imply some sort of class divide – us vs them.

  101. Trish Corry

    Thanks for that contribution Kaye. Do you agree or disagree that climate activists have a responsibility to also advocate to mitigate the negative outcomes from successful climate activism? If not, whose role is it and why? That isn’t clear in your replies.

  102. Keith


    Climate change kills people. Your attempt at philosophising the matter ignores this matter. Communities, Families and individuals are heavily impacted by ignoring such facts.

    Do we just accept the dangers of climate change without trying to reduce the impact?
    In the 1970s we were generally told that we needed to mitigate against climate change; vested interests representing monied fossil fuel companies ensured that no action happened ( Heartlands, ALEC, Cato Institute etc). What we are witnessing now is the urgency of taking action; while in the past a more gentle transition had been available. Pure greed and ideology have overridden attempts to make appropriate change; Howard pretended to go along with what was necessary, and it is very apparent that neo cons are continuing with the pretence.

    As stated before climate change is a matter of science and it is not some kind of ideology.

  103. Trish Corry

    Highlighting there are negative impacts as a result of successful climate change activism is philosophising climate change? That is an interesting view.

    As discussed I am not anti climate change. So the question of what we should or should not ignore is not the question. The problem is to achieve the aim of perfect climate change goals, what negative consequences as a society do we accept? Which ones do we see are more important than climate change and which ones do we try to do something about?

    It’s kind of amusing. Being painted as some type of climate change denier coal lover really goes to the heart of the doggedness of some not willing to be open to the conversation about negative outcomes are resultant from successful climate change activism.

  104. Trish Corry

    Poverty kills people too. I forgot to mention that in my first response.

  105. Kaye Lee

    I have no idea what you mean by “perfect” climate change goals. It is not a matter of what is more important, climate change or jobs. It is important to combine the conversation about both. What jobs are consistent with the imperative need to take action to mitigate climate change? What are the jobs in a future which is becoming increasingly automated and moving towards zero emissions?

  106. Trish Corry

    What I mean by perfect climate change goals – are the success of the goals fought by climate change activists. For example – a goal may be to shut down any industry that contributes to climate change. That would be a perfect goal. The overarching question in this piece, is – is that seen as a ‘success?’ If yes, then the activism through the prism of jobs is aimless. Activism with an aim, would also recognise that Ok – if we Do A, then B will happen and B will not be good for X people or communities. How can we achieve our goal AND mitigate the negative affect on X?
    The question is – should this be a role of climate change activists?
    The role solely of Government?
    Or are these climate change goals the sole aim, and any person suffering as a result of negative consequence (ie job losses) should just look after themselves, it is not our concern. Our concern is climate change activism.

    I agree that it does not have to be about climate change or jobs. I have stressed a number of times, that as per above, activism with aim, would look at a way to mitigate job losses or advocate to view our economy and how we disperse money to regions differently. I proposed a few ideas in the piece.

    Automation is another example; although there is no movement advocating to make jobs automated, like there is with the climate change movement advocating to shut down jobs. Business would be advocating for automation, but there are hundreds of years of struggle between the worker and business and this is largely represented by the Union movement. To view this similarity, the question would be, what harm would come to business if we advocated to stop automation?

    Are you proposing that the climate change activists wanting to shut down Adani, are also including advocacy for jobs and looking after these regional areas? Because that is not evident at all in this debate. It may be a matter of what jobs can we generate in the wake of climate change, but that is not the conversation we are currently having; nor does it appear to be a primary concern of activists; hence my article calling for a new way for activists to think.

  107. Kaye Lee

    I have never heard anyone call for everything that contributes emissions to be shut down. That would require us to all stop breathing. So the answer is, of course, no. It is an unachievable proposition. What we must do is reduce emsissions sufficiently to get back in equilibrium with the carbon cycle.

    You seem determined to ignore solutions and ascribe goals that no-one, and I mean no-one, is advocating. You keep saying that trying to mitigate climate change is activism without an aim. The aim is to mitigate climate change. Finding jobs for people is another issue that must be linked to this aim but doesn’t have to be the sole responsibility of environmental activists.

    “what harm would come to business if we advocated to stop automation” is a completely different argument. Automation may contribute to unemployment and poverty but it doesn’t destroy the planet.

    It isn’t “a matter of what jobs can we generate in the wake of climate change”. If we don’t halt the trajectory we will die. To suggest that people concerned about climate change don’t give a shit about those whose jobs will go is just plain wrong. It would be like saying the miners don’t give a shit about their children’s health.

  108. Keith


    Pushing renewable energy research, development and installation will create far more positions than what can be produced by coal.

    Those who push for action to reduce greenhouse gases do so for the well being of their children, young relatives and people in general. There has been much false information in relation to climate change led by quite evil organisations.
    To me, pushing against fossil fuel companies is promoting life in its various forms, including human.
    I’m not sure what the negatives are in promoting life?

    In Africa, people living at a subsistence level in an area identified as being subject to drought through climate change have lost their livestock and crops … their present circumstance.

    Yes, poverty kills and is exacerbated by climate change. I do not believe your questioning about the impacts of advocating in the climate change area is in the same league as existential risks.

  109. diannaart

    Being pro-jobs does not have to mean accepting any type of industry – this acceptance plays directly into the power wielded by corporations (who do not pay tax, who ARE steadily automating everything they can, who do not offer retraining to current employees in light of change.

    Change such as closures of old and ailing coal plants and other polluting industries. In Victoria the Hazelwood plant was closed – not by protest but due to its ageing state, nor was it closed in a responsible manner retraining workers for other work, it was closed from France by its owner Engie –

    The below if from Wiki – while we need to be aware Wiki is not perfect (rather like life) its summary of Hazelwood provides the clearest overview of Hazelwood.

    On 3 November 2016, Engie announced that the entire Hazelwood plant would be closed as of the end of March 2017, giving the workers and local communities only five months notice of the closure
    Hazelwood was jointly owned by Engie (formerly GDF Suez), with a 72% share and Mitsui & Co. with a 28% share.[4] As of 2014, Hazelwood employed 495 staff directly and on average 300 contractors.
    Hazelwood Power Station and associated mine were privatised by the Kennett government in 1996 after many years of downsizing under a ‘structural efficiency’ model undertaken by the then state Labor government.
    The French Environment Minister said ENGIE would ‘disengage’ from Hazelwood power station during a documentary that aired on French TV in May 2016. The Minister’s response came after receiving a petition about the Hazelwood mine fire from Environment Victoria. > ENGIE decided to close Hazelwood because it committed to “making climate a priority” by signing onto the COP 21 Business and Climate Summit. In May 2016. CEO Isabelle Kocher said the company was ‘reviewing its remaining coal plants one by one and would close those with the most outdated technology.’ A fire, commonly referred to as the Hazelwood Coal Mine Fire, started at the mine on 9 February 2014 and was officially considered controlled on 10 March 2014.The Chief Officer of the Country Fire Authority described the fire as “one of the largest, longest running and most complex fires in the State’s history.

    About communities affected by closure of coal mines:

    Around 20 coal power stations around the country will need to retire in coming years, to meet our international commitments to keeping warming below 2 degrees and to avoid the worst impacts of climate change. An initial estimate of funding required to support transitions in these communities could be upwards of $6 billion.

    Funding of this magnitude, over the timeframe required to achieve lasting change, will require more than one-off payments to support piecemeal projects. It will depend on an institutional framework that generates revenue which can be directed towards predictable and ongoing support for affected communities.

    For the sake of climate and communities, Australia needs a national plan to manage the closure of power stations and to achieve a just transition for communities and workers.

    Now, I have a question for Trish, why wait for AIMers to provide ideas and solutions, what have you done towards to alternative employment for miners and related workers?

    Instead of demanding “perfect” solutions?

  110. Mick Byron

    Kaye Lee
    I know climate change is real I believe the 95% of Scientists and have witnessed first hand the melting glaciers.
    My home is carbon neutral yet my environmentally inclined neighbour negates my efforts with their overuse of all the carbon producing things imaginable.
    I believe that Climate Change is a global issue and unless it is addressed globally we are done.
    Given that scenario and the bleak global picture of inaction do you think that Adani would make much difference?
    At its worst what miniscule pecentage would you ascribe to Adani in the global scenario?
    Chinese energy companies have been starting two coal power projects a week
    China currently has over 900,000MW of coal-fired capacity, the equivalent of about 1,300 large coal-fired units
    China has another 200,000MW of coal-fired capacity under construction
    And to India
    Its 2015 INDC plans submitted before the Paris COP imply an increase of over 300 GW of coal by 2030. Taking the current US average size of a coal plant as a benchmark, that’d be nearly 600 new coal plants.
    India formally ratified the Paris climate agreement.
    The move comes with caveats, largely to protect the country in case the US (or other big polluters) pull out and also to keep up the pressure on richer countries to provide finance to mitigate and adapt to the impacts of climate change.
    The country also has ambitious goals in clean energy – it wants to install nearly 175GW of mainly solar power by the end of the decade. That’s nearly six times the current UK renewable energy capacity.
    Yet India also remains committed to one of the most aggressive programs to build new coal plants that the planet has ever seen.
    I ask what % would Adani be on the global impact?

  111. Johno

    Mick Byron
    Are you contradicting yourself? You say ‘we are done, unless climate change is addressed’, the you say ‘do you think Adani will make much difference’
    That’s exactly the excuse Malcontent Turncoat used. If we don’t dig it up someone else will. Pathetic.

    Don’t you think we have to start somewhere.

  112. guest

    Mick Byron,

    you need to check the use of coal-fired power stations in India and China. You will not have to look far. Talk of coal-fired power stations declining by 2/3.

    There are plenty of reports just this year which show that both India and China are cancelling the building of numerous coal-fired power stations.

    In China they have been producing too much electricity. In India authorities are preferring solar power.

    With regard to percentages of carbon emissions, if 100 countries were each producing 1% of the current emissions of greenhouse gasses, would you say there is nothing to worry about because each country’s emissions are so small?

    Besides all that, even if we achieved zero emissions right now, so much greenhouse gasses have been emitted that the effects will continue for hundreds of years.

    The Adani mine is a clear danger threatening increase in Climate Change temperatures.

    Above all that, the Adani mine is economically unviable.

  113. guest

    Concerning jobs to be created by Adani, PM Turnbull explained in Question Time today that by his claim of “tens of thousands of jobs” being created, he meant “tens of thousands of jobs” in India!

    Greens leader Brandt had reminded Turnbull that Adani claims it will produce only some 1400 jobs in Oz.

    Where does our PM get his ideas from – or does he dream up all this stuff himself?

    And there he was, claiming he is implementing Labor policies better than Labor, shouting shouting shouting as if everyone is deaf, trying to convince himself.

  114. Mick Byron

    “you need to check the use of coal-fired power stations in India and China.”
    True but the building rates are still those I mentioned above,,
    Ms Corry
    sorry in participating in the “Adani” debate as I know full well that was not the intent of your article so no more comment from me on Adani

  115. Trish Corry

    I wasn’t expecting to escape the Adani debate. I hope at least I have given some food for thought and people can view this as a risk mitigation process around activism whether Adani is is in the scenario or not.

  116. Trish Corry

    Hi Dianna. I hope more people than just the regular commenters on AIMN read my blog. I am not asking for AIMNers to provide solutions. I have written a piece with the intent of hopefully having people think about if there are negative consequences that would be resultant of what they are protesting for. As you have listed above these changes are are given. Do we show concern and think of solutions for those who will be at the negative end of These changes – OR is this something activism should not be concerned with?

  117. Trish Corry

    Kaye can you provide some examples of the overwhelming advocacy and concern of the anti Adani Movement for alternative solutions and concern for the region the successful anti Adani activism will impact? It certainly is not evident to me. If you are linking this to how you feel personally – as I said before. Possibly this is a case of “not all men” just because all men don’t objectify women for example, does not mean it is not an observable phenomenon. Of course no one is talking about shutting all emissions generating industries down, but for some environmental activists that would be a great goal to achieve. However there is currently a large movement to shut down one large emissions generating project. The activism around this project has no observable or prominent activism around mitigating the negative affect of this mine. As I asked earlier do you believe this is the job of activists? Or should stopping the mine be the only goal? Or should the Govt be the only party to think of alternatives for jobs/ economy Or should no one do anything because ultimately it’s up to the individual or community to respond to the change?

  118. Mick Byron

    “JohnoMay 30, 2017 at 2:57 pm
    Mick Byron
    Are you contradicting yourself? You say ‘we are done, unless climate change is addressed’, the you say ‘do you think Adani will make much difference’”

    NO, I said unless there is a global commitment we are cactus – Global Commitment

    Please answer this on a global scale what miniscule %age if even calculable would Adani add
    Sorry Ms Corry 😀

  119. guest

    Mick Byron,

    you might like to see how other facts stack up with yours. (Just a reminder: Paris agreement ended Nov 2016)

    New York Times, May, 2017:

    “China has reduce coal use for 3 years in a row and recently scrapped plans to build more than 100 coal power plants.”
    also, electric vehicle sales jump 70%

    “Indian officials have estimated that country might no longer need to build new power plants beyond those that are already under construction.”
    also, all cars old in India should be electric by 2030

    Climate Home 15/5/17:

    “India will halt construction of coal powered stations 2022-2027.”

    “China’s renewable energy industry is now the largest on Earth. In Feb 2017 the world’s biggest solar farm was opened at Longyangxia Dam, with 850 MW of capacity.”

    Both countries are “set to beat their pledges to the Paris climate agreement.”

    The rogue in all of this is the USA, Trump having trashed environmental regulations.

    Finally, the Adani mine is unviable.

  120. diannaart

    My belief, Trish, is that positive activism is about searching for the best solutions for the greater good of people and the environment upon which they depend.

    I should not need to point out that, like all vexatious issues, there is no black an white. What I do know is coal, for environmental imperative, needs to be kept underground. I also acknowledge that coking coal (which is not used for power) is vital to steel production – there are ways to foster and regulate such industries. However, Adani is not economically (for both workers and bosses) nor environmentally viable.

    I am about the future, even though I will not be here to see if humans actually get over themselves and use the abilities they have for progress instead of for aimless discourse.

  121. Trish Corry

    The greater good could be interpreted in various ways. For example the liberals believe cutting penalty rates is for the greater good because it will (apparently) lead to more jobs. No the issue is not black and white. There are at times ethical and economical considerations. There are ethical and economic considerations with climate change activism as it pushes to phase out coal and shut down industries. The question that I am feeling is very difficult for people to answer although I have put it forward a number of times is:
    Should environmental activists also consider advocating for alternative solutions?
    Is this the problem for government alone?
    Should environmental activists not be concerned with job losses as it is the responsibility of the individual and communities affected to respond to that change?

  122. Johno

    @ Guest… well put.

    @Trish… An MCG sized area of bush is cleared every three minutes in Qld. Why is Labour letting this happen ?

  123. Trish Corry

    I’ve responded to that. I said it is not an area I am across and to write to Dr Lynham environment minister. I’m not sure how it is relevant. I did ask what activism is around this and what is the negative consequence of it. Not sure if I missed the answer.

  124. Johno

    Whoops sorry, but in a way it does relate because I have just signed a petition (activism) for the stopping of this land clearing. What would you say is the negative consequence.

  125. Trish Corry

    I’m not sure. Some context would help. Do you have a link to the petition?

  126. Johno

    From the Wilderness Society, sorry no link, but an excerpt..

    The bulldozers destroy our forests, wildlife and climate
    Large-scale deforestation and land clearing is once again on the rise in Australia, thanks to the severe weakening of land clearing laws by state governments. The bulldozers aren’t just destroying Australia’s precious forests and bushland—they’re also releasing millions of tonnes of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, worsening climate change.

    We have to stop the bulldozers urgently. The scale and pace of climate change demands that Australia implement as many viable solutions as quickly as possible. Sign our petition today to the Prime Minister, Opposition Leader and Premier of Queensland—Australia’s worst state for clearing—to show them you support steps to halt this clearing crisis.

    I must run, off to do salute to the sun/ yoga… ciao.

  127. Trish Corry

    Ok no worries. If they are clearing the land for houses or hospitals then we have an ethical dilemma. If they are clearing for laughs it’s important to know why.

  128. guest


    no one wants anyone to be unemployed. What can be done about unemployment is the big question. But let us not think that the Adani mine is the solution.

    In Question Time today (Tues) Turnbull explained that his talk of “10 000 jobs” from Adani actually meant 10 000 jobs in India. We know Adani predicts some 1400 jobs in Oz – not enough to solve Qld’s problems.

    The Coalition has its “trickle down” policy – rather nebulous. Or the power of “market forces”. Perhaps private industry? Or employment agencies?

    We need to ask how the Coalition is handling the loss of the car industry. Or any other closure of workplaces.

    It seems to me the Coalition’s “small government” policy is reluctant to become too involved.

    When we peak of “activists”, we are not necessarily thinking of those who would seek to stop the Adani mine. Activists are those who seek to make changes – and that might mean being active to find ways to create jobs, and that might mean the unemployed themselves make themselves heard, demanding change.

    It is not a matter of no one doing anything, just waiting for something to happen!

    So let us imagine that the mine goes ahead and does not achieve what is hoped for (few jobs, bad environmental effects, folds after a few years…) What will be done then? And by whom?

    The answer really is that we are ALL involved. It is about ALL of Oz, not just Qld. And not just the Federal government. And thinking of Climate Change, it is a world matter.

    First, we have to make the right decision about Adani – and at present the facts stack up against Adani. It is economically unviable.

  129. Trish Corry

    The Adani mine is an example. There will be many more as time progresses. For example one aim of socialist alliance is to completely phase out coal. This will have a huge impact on many industries not just the coal mines themselves. I speak to the anti Adani activists as the activists as the are implicit to the example used. The same as the FOS activists are the activists I refer to in FOS example.
    Activists indeed are the ones who seek to make change. But my piece is written because this will and does pose a problem with CC activism as it seeks to shut down more industries. I am assuming Adani is a serious cause and not a trendy bandwagon and will be the only mine ever protested against. For example will the same movement try to stop the new Clermont coal discovery from progressing to mining stage? That is automatically 300 direct jobs. I know people don’t see these numbers as a big deal but when it’s jobs for people in small towns it’s a massive impact.
    It is the activists who are pushing for the change. The people who are happy for mining to continue either don’t feel passionately about climate change, don’t think that particular mine or business will make much difference or really like and want to keep working in that industry. As you pointed out. We have already had the same problem with the car industry and the Govt response has been to invest in submarines in SA (dismal and poorly handled I know) however if activists want this huge shift, there will be resistance from the people listed above. These people will not be the change champions. Surely if CC activists are serious about CC it would be in their best interest to take the lead in mitigating the negative consequences (job losses) to make this transition more palatable. I notice that if one argument is difficult to have a clear result from the ground shifts to something not related to environmentalism. Such as Adani is dodgy, no banks will fund it.

    Unless those who seek to change our country start taking note of the negative consequences of their activism, then we risk populist parties with empty rhetoric rising to have huge impacts worse that CC on the country. This is bigger than simply dreaming about a coal free future.

  130. Kaye Lee

    This article is from February 2014. Since then our emissions have increased.

    “In the year to September 2013, Australia added 542.1 million tonnes of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere. Australia exported 301 million tonnes of coal in the year ending July 1, 2012. When this coal is burnt, it will produce 719.4 millions tonnes of C02, which is more than the domestic emissions alone.

    The huge mines planned for the Galilee Basin are estimated to add 705 millions tonnes of C02 each year, bringing the emissions embedded in Australia’s coal exports to almost four times its current domestic emissions. Bill McKibben draws on Climate Insitute data here in Australia to suggest that current coal export plans, if left unchecked, will produce 30% of the carbon needed to push global warming beyond two degrees.

    In 2010, Australia’s daily per capita emissions stood at 73kgs, four times the world average and three times that of the EU.”

  131. Trish Corry

    Hi Kaye. Not sure of your point in this context. Is it that the carbon emissions are more important to stop than the economic benefit to individuals and the community?
    What about for new coal mines such as the new mine discovered in Clermont last week? Should that be stopped too? As cows contribute to CC should we work to phase out the beef industry? All serious questions as we look at the activism around climate change. It is worth looking to potential activism in the future and what that might look like. 30 years ago it was simply “don’t use aerosols and cows emitting gas will break the ozone layer and we will all die” we have progressed much further than that. Once again I refer to the questions asked a number of times. Where does the responsibility lie in terms of mitigating the negative consequences of successful climate activism?

  132. Matters Not

    Is it that the carbon emissions are more important to stop than the economic benefit to individuals and the community?

    Yep! It’s a matter of priorities – carbon dioxide emissions reduction must be a starting point. The ‘science’ demands it.

    Economic considerations are of secondary importance.

  133. Trish Corry

    Thanks Matters Not. That is a good start. If we can understand how many more believe jobs are secondary to climate change action, we can start to come to a point of discussing how to deal with it. Resist. Or find solutions so entire communities aren’t devastated.

  134. Matters Not

    TC, given your response, I’m not sure you give the same meaning to my post as I intended.

    When you talk about the deal with it, I am unsure what the IT refers to – as the matter of priority.

  135. Trish Corry

    Ok fair enough what was the intent of your comment?

  136. Freethinker

    I just reading the sad news about Adani:
    Indian mining giant says coalmine project is back on track after agreement with Palaszczuk government.
    Adani’s billionaire chairman, Gautam Adani, personally thanked the Queensland premier, Annastacia Palaszczuk, “and the elected members of the state for their continued support to make this happen”.
    “I also wish to thank the prime minister, Malcolm Turnbull, and opposition leader, Bill Shorten, for their support for the changes to the native title bill,”

    Unfortunately the ALP also lack of imagination or polices (to put in nicely) to create jobs without damage the environment to a point of not return.
    Now we know for sure and without doubt where the ALP stand regarding climate change and protection of the environment and also we know where it stands regarding the rights of the land of traditional owners.
    No much difference with Trump and the Dakota access pipeline.

  137. Matters Not

    TC, if we don’t start with the problem of climate change and how to deal with same – morally, scientifically, ethically and so on (Rudd was actually on the money) – then our economic problems pale into insignificance. That’s my starting point. The number one consideration.

    Having said that, the existence of secondary considerations should not be ignored or even down graded – like the ones you outline above, While there are no easy answers, I am of the view that Adani simply doesn’t stack up. And on a whole host of ‘grounds’. Sure the locals in your backyard face a tough future, but they aren’t alone.

    I also understand that proximity is always important when it comes to our reactions and why such proximity should affect and affect one’s reactions. By way of example, I know I can’t stop rape across the world whatever action I take. But I also know that I am morally bound to take action when a potential rape victim knocks on my door.

    Seems to me there’s been a knock on your door.

  138. Trish Corry

    You have lost me completely. I have no idea what you mean.

  139. Matters Not

    TC: I wrote three ‘paras’ at 7.57. Here’s a different set of words that might better convey my ‘meaning’.

    In the first, I asserted that ‘climate change’ (and how to combat same) must be given the (almost) highest priority.

    In the second, I agreed that the broad socioeconomic impacts on individuals and communities must also be considered to be important.

    In the third, I attempt to ‘consider’ why particular people in particular locations react as they do when faced with moral dilemmas. If you ‘know’ them, you are more likely to be ‘outraged’. That is – you have – PROXIMITY. Sometimes that proximity is personal. Yon know them on a daily basis – relatives. neighbours and the like.t At other times it’s ‘cultural’ Again, for example, we get very agitated when less than 30 people are killed in Manchester while more than 100 plus civilians are also killed in Mosul?

  140. Trish Corry

    A knock on my door? Are you assuming I do nothing and am a climate change denier and pro mining? If so you have missed the complete point of the blog post.

  141. Matters Not

    TC – the knock on my door is an attempt to emphasise that when it comes to ‘judgements’, ‘reactions’ and the like, one must always take into consideration the ‘personal’. Again, for example, more than X million will die tonight – as they do each and every day and night. That ‘fact’ doesn’t cause me much perturbation on a moment to moment basis. On the other hand, if tonight, a close relatives dies, it will focus my mind, emotions, moraljudgements, and whatever. They are PROXIMATE.

    When it comes to ADANI, it seems to me that PROXIMATY explains (in part) your reaction, while others can be less concerned.

  142. Keith


    Scientists have been saying for some time fossil fuels need to be left in the ground.

    Coal is sequested carbon that has been created over millions of years; we have used that coal in a little over 100 years to generate power creating greenhouse gases.. That is, bombarding the atmosphere with more greenhouse gases than were present before the Industrial Revolution. If you find a globe of the Earth that has a diameter of 9 inches and place over it a piece of reflex paper that has been folded into a quarter then you have a model of the the proportion of atmosphere in comparison to land mass and oceans. In other words, we do not have much atmosphere to send waste CO2 and other greenhouse gases into.

    To turn your question around, how do those pushing coal mines mitigate against the damage being done around Earth, where people are being killed, infra- structure is being lost, food crops are becoming less reliable, and water resources are less dependable etc?

  143. Matters Not

    Keith re your comment:

    Scientists have been saying for some time fossil fuels need to be left in the ground

    Yes while some are ‘saying’ that (and I agree with them), let’s be clear – they are leaving their field of ‘expertise’ and entering into an area (policy) where they have little or no ‘expertise’. Yes, scientists should tell us what needs to happen. But as to the best way achieve that goal is not a matter for science. It’s a policy consideration.

    For example, the most effective way to limit or stop carbon emissions is simply to ban same. No ifs or buts. Lots of scientists would clap. But that might be considered to be bad policy.

    There’s ‘ends’ which ‘science’ can provide and then there’s ‘means’ which is all about ‘policy’ – at least in a democratic society.

  144. Trish Corry

    Yes. I see what you are saying. Put it this way. Put jobs in this region and I would not care if it fell over tomorrow. I’m not pro Adani but just like the environment upsets you, unemployment makes people powerless. That disturbs me more than the environment

  145. Matters Not

    Okay TC – but I just shake my head..

    And for reasons you don’t seem to understand. But that’s my problem.

    Priorities, perspectives, judgements and all that.

    Perhaps it matters not. But for me it does. In this instance.

  146. Trish Corry

    Hi Keith that isn’t turning my question around.

  147. Trish Corry

    Sorry I don’t understand your point. I do understand your point on perspective I thought. That’s why I offered my clarification of jobs over environment.

  148. Johno

    Keith and Matters Not.. Cheers.. Excellent posts.

    Would a universal wage for every citizen on the planet help with this dilemma. That would mean every citizen on the planet gets a wage whether they are working or not. Something like this I think is essential as there just won’t be the jobs for everyone.

    I read this morning that economists are advocating a carbon tax to raise 4 trillion to put towards cc mitigation. This is not about a universal wage but they are advocating directing a portion of this money towards poverty.

    “The revenue can be used to foster growth in an equitable way, by returning the revenue as household rebates, supporting poorer sections of the population, managing transitional changes, investing in low-carbon infrastructure, and fostering technological change,” they said.

    We desperately need change that lifts the poor and the rich can take a hike.

  149. Kaye Lee

    Of course the environment is more important than jobs and it would be incredibly selfish and short-sighted to think otherwise.

    We could employ lots of people to bulldoze down all of our homes. Lots of employment but nowhere to live. Or the example I gave before – cut down all the trees. Lots of jobs but no air to breathe.

    The nature of employment is, and always has been, changing. Mining fossil fuels is a dying industry so we must look to other avenues to provide employment for future generations. Miners are not the only people facing disruption. North Queensland is not the only place with high unemployment. Mining has never been a significant employer in Australia (15th out of the 19 categories with less than 230,000 employees nationally)and they have never had qualms about laying people off at the drop of a hat. To borrow a phrase, real solutions will not come from unscrupulous Indian billionaires looking to make a quick buck from what will soon become a stranded asset.

  150. Freethinker

    IMO, until we do not change the economics models and life style we will not are going to change the situation.
    That it is the root of the problems

  151. Johno

    On the money Kaye and Freethinker.

  152. Trish Corry

    Hi Johno I am pro a UBI as long as it is not under poverty line like the dole. But still for it as it will reduce stigma. If there was a transition plan in place and new industries and projects cut our terrible unemployment stats and you people especially had decent opportunities and engineering grads etc had opportunities after study, the mines benefit would not outweigh the risks in my eyes. I see in the Adani argument that poverty and disempowerment through unemployment is less of a harm to society than the impact this mine will have in climate change. One mine in the entire world. Where as I see the opposite. Unemployment can disempower people for generations. To me that is worse than a mine with 200 environmental provisions in place can do.

  153. Trish Corry

    Hi Jo. How we redistribute funds to communities in a transition is something I see as important as well as how we invest to create jobs in transition regions

  154. Trish Corry

    As per reply to Johno

  155. Trish Corry

    That should say young people especially. Not you people. I can’t edit on my phone

  156. Keith


    Employment for all who wish to be employed would be great; but, it won’t happen. Not being able to obtain a position creates untold anguish for people in such a circumstance. Extra hardship is placed on the unemployed by the bastard LNP “government” who scape goat and stigmatise the unemployed. We have a “government” creating unemployment through closing off the motor industry for ideological reasons, which will then attack those they have made redundant. Its what the LNP does, I corresponded to a local paper during Howard’s term expressing my anger about the unemployed being treated in such a way.

    Previously I mentioned Tony Seba, he makes a lot of sense in relation to how old technologies are very quickly replaced:

    An unlikely source which indicates the state of the Great Barrier Reef and its social impact:

    Asbestos mining is an industry of the past due to the harm created, the coal industry is also causing a lot of harm.

  157. Rossleigh

    It’s ok, Malcolm Turnbull’s government has decided that the CEFC can fund “clean coal” technology!

  158. Rossleigh

    Originally, the Coalition tried to abolish the CEFC, saying taxpayers should not be underwriting investments the private sector will not touch.
    Strangely though, they’ve seen the light. It’s ok to fund coal projects that the private sector won’t touch!

  159. Trish Corry

    I am not a coal advocate. However in this region to not have jobs when a lot of the jobs are mining and especially after Bligh killed our other main industry QLD Rail And after the wrath of Newman killing off community sector and public service jobs we cannot afford to wait another five years for someone to come up with an idea. When Car Manu went under I advocated for funding and corporate welfare to fund employment. If people are so serious about climate change then why are you not offering anything you can think of to make it acceptable in the face of such stark job shortages? All I repeatedly hear is “that’s life people are unemployed” “only 1000 or so jobs won’t make a difference” yes it does in small communities. “People should just move with the free market” which I completely oppose as I’m not a right wing free marketeer who is anti community. The reaction over this one mine when there are over 20 other mines in QLD and other current exploration and stage of development applications for another (which no one seems to care about) is absolutely over the top in terms of the climate change argument, especially when not one advocate has been able to say which one of the 200 environmental provisions concerns you and how could it be fixed to alleviate your concerns.

  160. Freethinker

    Keith, the beginning of the end of the motorcar industry started by Button and his Motor Industry Development Plan.
    The problem with the motorcar industry and importing cheaper manufactured cars from OS is similar to the problem of importing perserved food form OS because it is cheaper that the local produced.
    The root of the problem is the model used to arrive to the conclusion that they are cheaper and also how the merits of global market it is analysed.
    In both cases pure economics are taken into consideration without looking in the social and eviromental costs among other factors.
    As I said before, we are basing our economic models in the wrong way and this is what bring all the problems.
    Both parties here have the same macroeconomic models so there is no much hope until we start educating the future economists how to change this.

  161. Kaye Lee

    “To me that is worse than a mine with 200 environmental provisions in place can do.” And when they breach those provisions, what happens?

    “QUEENSLAND’S environment department is considering compliance action against coal miner Adani after water released from its Abbot Point facility during Cyclone Debbie contained eight times more sediment than allowed.”

    “In 2013 the Indian government found Adani guilty of serious breaches of Indian environmental law, including illegally clearing mangroves and destroying tidal creeks.

    “It also found that infrastructure associated with the Adani’s port in Mundra had been built without environmental approvals.”

    You suggest the harm to society of this “one mine in the entire world” is insignificant yet when I pointed out that Australia’s current coal export plans, if left unchecked, will produce 30% of the carbon needed to push global warming beyond two degrees you replied “Not sure of your point.” My point is that opening up the Galilee Basin could be catastrophic.

  162. Trish Corry

    Sorry I called you Joe before I read your name as free f’all

  163. Trish Corry

    What happens if any company breaches environmental provisions Kaye?

  164. Matters Not

    Simon Holmes a Court was on ABC Radio this morning pointing out that clean coal technology in the power stations that use same (2 or 3), The reduction in emissions was in the order of a miserable 6% – almost a rounding error. That was after spending billions. The power companies concerned have vowed – never again!

    He said: that, while CCS has a role to play in industrial production such as concrete and steel, the cost and inefficiency of CCS in power generation make it unviable.

  165. Johno

    I was unemployed for 15 years so I have a reasonable idea of what it is like to live on a low income. I never felt disempowered, in fact the opposite, I felt I was contributing less to the destruction of this planet. When I did get it together to start my own business, DSS were fantastic with their help. As Keith mentioned, Howard’s attitude was a big step backwards.

  166. Trish Corry

    Congratulations. Your personal experience is not the same as others.

  167. Kaye Lee

    In my opinion, Palaszczuk should step back from Adani and stop making promises. No infrastructure loans, no royalties holidays – if it is commercially viable it will go ahead. She should be coming up with other employment ideas for the area.

    One small idea – in conjunction with the CSIRO and/or the universities, a research hub to study how to deal with the effects of climate change on agriculture. There will be a growing need for answers about plant diseases, insect infestations, drought resistant crops, water management, natural disaster mitigation, reforestation, land management, changing rainfall patterns, fish farming etc. Local farmers could help take part in trials.

    The federal and state governments have all the information and expert advice available to evaluate the needs of the area yet they show absolutely no imagination or vision about employment opportunities. There is plenty of private investment money available if the government showed some initiative.

  168. Trish Corry

    Which goes to the heart of my question. Is it the role of CC advocates to also address mitigating the negative outcome of successful CC goals or is it just the role of Govt? Or should no one care and negative impact of transitioning industry is up to individual and or communities to cope with?

  169. Kaye Lee

    I think this entire conversation shows that people care – something you seem to be deliberately ignoring. Government must play a role both as an employer and as a faciltator in providing opportunity for private investment. The outdated commitment to coal and the lack of committed climate change policy is retarding private investment. I am not sure why you think it is the job of climate change activists to come up with the jobs when government and locals are far better placed to understand the needs of the area and make suggestions.

  170. Keith


    The car industry around the planet is subsidised. GMH put out a prospectus that outlined the cost /benefit of maintaining Holden in Australia; with the wages paid, taxes paid, maintaining industries that produced parts for the motor industry, and research and development; which meant Australia did quite well out of the deal. Before the Prospectus/Submission was even assessed GMH was cut off at the knees. From memory the Prospectus suggested for each dollar GM was subsidised there was a return of something like $19. Clearly, GM would have been presenting the best case, even if it had been a $4 return its still a good investment.

    I copied the URL of the GM Prospectus at the time but it is no longer available. The closure of the motor industry and the willingness to provide Industrial Welfare for Adani displays the mental gymnastics of the ideologically driven LNP. I’m very skeptical of Button having been a negative influence, having seen the Prospectus put out by GM.
    We know from experience that those retrenched from the motor industry along with other unemployed people, will be hounded by a bastard “government”. With the LNP it is blame Labor; I’m not a paid up member of any political party by the way.

    Paul Keating has fairly recently admitted that the neo con influence on economics in the end has been quite damaging, which supports your comments about macro-economics.

  171. Matters Not

    TC Having camped at Kinchant Dam (west of Mackay) and Fairbairn Dam (west of Rocky and south-west of Emerald) I’ve always enjoyed catching and eating Redclaw. (A fresh water crayfish – the biggest I’ve seen is 44 cm – a plaster cast of which sits above the bar at Kinchant Dam.) It’s an expanding industry – especially with demand from China really growing.

    Getting Started

    (As an aside, Redclaw were in such numbers (plague proportions) that the Queensland Government were thinking of introducing some type of ‘virus’ to limit numbers. After much flak they desisted.

    In Western Australia – Marron is very, very big business as well.;

  172. Trish Corry

    Thank you Kaye. That is the sort of answer I have been looking for. I want to know opinion if people think it is THEIR role as activists when their activism has resultant negative affect. Regardless of what that activism is. As I said this is not about Adani.

  173. Keith


    A very informative film clip, thanks.

    A number of scientists were surprised that at the Paris deliberations that 1.5C over pre Industrial temperature would be a goal; scientists were saying 1.5C was already in the pipe line.

    Bru Pearce put together a clip about the rapidity of how much the Earth is warming, its old in comparison to what I would normally reference, but makes a very strong point. A couple of mates with a knowledge of statistics have vetted the statistics, as getting beyond three standard deviations questions the data provided:

  174. Kaye Lee

    Is it the role of miners to consider the negative affect of their employment on the environment? Are they the ones who should be coming up with climate change mitigation strategies? It goes both ways. I don’t think we can discuss ‘activism’ without being specific.

  175. Trish Corry

    In an organisation with change and mergers do you look to the workers most likely to lose their jobs to be the “change champions” Activists are change agents yeh?

  176. Michael Taylor

    Is it the role of miners to consider the negative affect of their employment on the environment? Are they the ones who should be coming up with climate change mitigation strategies?

    As an aside, climate scientist Dr Anthony Horton (who writes most of our ‘Environment’ articles) is the climate change consultant to the Chinese mining industry.

    As another aside, whilst he is sought after in China, his skills and knowledge are ignored in his own country.

  177. paul walter

    Mother’s little helper, Keith. Mother’s little helper..

  178. paul walter

    Kieth I add a disclaimer of sorts.

    My aim has not been so much to discredit a state government but employ the Adani example as an example of the impact and function of globalisation of financialised capital, eg the neutering of bottom up government and subversion of locales in favour of Big Business via the mechanisms of “offshore”.

    Used to call it, “enclosuring”.

  179. Mick Byron

    Kaye Lee It seems some are working to that end and along with enforced Government Environmental regulations so steps forward are being made

    Adapting to Climate Change: A Guide for the Mining Industry
    Carbon Disclosure Project
    Of 41 company disclosures in 2009, 76
    percent responded that climate change represents
    physical risk to the company, and 46 percent responded that physical
    impacts of climate change present opportunity.

    Source: BSR Analysis
    Of all of the 2009 public CDP respondents,South African companies are particularly active in discussing climate change risks and opportunities,because many have started
    to feel the consequences of climate change related legislation as well as energy
    and water scarcity.
    Mining (and other)companies need to openly discuss, share information,
    and communicate about adaptation regularly.
    Companies should share costs and otherwise support climate modeling and other scientific and technical studies necessary to develop adaptation strategies when they are
    operating in the same region.”
    Vivian MacKnight
    Sustainable Development
    Vale S.A.

  180. Johno

    paul and keith, thanks for the clips.
    Keith, I hope Trish got a good look at those graphs. They are full on out of control, heading towards a venus type planet.

  181. Freethinker

    Keith I do not defending one moment the coalition regarding the motorcar industry but the ALP have a lot to do with it in the same manner that have to do with Adani.
    I repost the quote that I have previous put in this thread:
    Indian mining giant says coalmine project is back on track after agreement with Palaszczuk government.
    Adani’s billionaire chairman, Gautam Adani, personally thanked the Queensland premier, Annastacia Palaszczuk, “and the elected members of the state for their continued support to make this happen”.
    “I also wish to thank the prime minister, Malcolm Turnbull, and opposition leader, Bill Shorten, for their support for the changes to the native title bill,”

    As you can see the ALP at both levels, federals and state is as bad as the Coalition.
    The sad part ( it is another subjects) is that Bill with the native tittle bill is as bad as Trump with the Dakota issues in USA.
    A disgrace!!

  182. paul walter

    Freethinker, it is an unpleasant fact that much of the Adani problem is down to Turnbull and Joyce hatching a PR wedge enforced through the vile Courier Mail, that puts Palsczczuk in a bad light.

    The elections are due and they want to put Labor in a bad light, reducing Labor’s room to move in negotiations by misrepresenting them as anti development/ anti jobs should they seek a better deal from Adani.

  183. Kaye Lee

    Palasczuk could wedge them right back with better ideas about employment and retraining.

  184. diannaart

    @ Kaye Lee

    Palasczuk could demand regulations, particularly for when the Adani mine fails economically and the workers it required beyond automation lose their jobs… so it goes…

    I agree with points made regarding “proximity” – can’t recall who wrote about that, but solely concentrating on immediate jobs in the local community is understandable. However, the community winds up back at zero when short term becomes obsolete.

    I posted (somewhere back in the commentary) of the impact of the failure and subsequent closure of the ailing Hazelwood mine – the dangers to health when it caught fire to community and the loss of jobs in the local community. Now Adani may well not catch fire (all that vaunted modern tech), but it will close – sooner rather than later.

    NO, this is not about Adani per se, it is about corporate greed, the excess of coal deposits in Australia and the mad rush to extract as much coal out for as much money as possible, before clean alternative energy sources become the mainstream.

    @ Trish Corry – Last time I checked Queensland was firmly attached to the Australian continent, which by the way is firmly (I hope) connected to planet earth. What we do anywhere does have effects elsewhere. There are opportunities to not repeat the same mistakes over and over again, however it does require a broader frame of reference.

    …aimless discourse…

  185. Trish Corry

    Thanks Dianna. So I guess the answer to the broader question is you do not believe it is the role of activists to address negative affect that may result from their successful aims?

  186. Kaye Lee

    And I guess you do not believe it is the role of miners to address negative affect that definitely WOULD result from their successful aims?

  187. Trish Corry

    Kaye assuming miners are not participating in the activism, then in terms of a change management framework, they would be in the side of resistance. If activists want progress in any change it is in the best interest of activists to bring resisters into the fold to mitigate resistance to the cause. For example an organisation going through a merger does not sit back and expect those resisting the merger to be the change champions. When men resist feminists activism women don’t sit back and wait for men to speak up for them. The feminist movement has engaged with men over a long period and now a significant number of men adopt the feminist label. It is quite ok if you do not believe that it is the role of activists to think about or address any negative affect they may cause. This is basically a phenomenon at present. There will be more from me on this topic in a quest to understand how people see it and participate in it.

  188. burniebobthe_b_

    Would be nice if we got to see the response from the Premier on Adani to the letter to the Premier that was published on here weeks ago, The Premier responded about a month ago yet not one word has been printed of her response here so was the original letter a stunt and a setup?

  189. Trish Corry

    I’m not sure about that Burnie. Maybe track down the Author of the letter or ask Michael to assist you.

  190. diannaart

    Again you have labelled me – do you always label people from what people are not talking about? From some type of negative vacuum? I have not been discussing “the broader question” of the responsibilities of activists… was I supposed to be? Where was it mentioned in your article? Was I supposed to take only one point from it?

    My bad, I was discussing the role of corporations behind our governments, both federal and state. I thought Adani was a good example of the acrobatics of government to dance to anyone wealthy/powerful enough.

    I believe everyone should aspire to positive outcomes, not just activists. I have to state this in order not to be labelled?

    I see a great deal of harm caused by corporate greed, far more than the antics of activists who don’t have much power, particularly these days when no matter how many people petition, government will proceed “business as usual” (which is why activists are protesting, duh).

    … more aimless discourse…

  191. Michael Taylor

    Burnie, you asked that same question on the post about Adani where the letter to the premier was published. Your question was responded to by both myself and the author.

  192. Trish Corry

    I have no idea what labels you are referring to. I have responded to your incessantly rude and indignant comments with clarity by redirecting to the actual topic of the article. The example of FOS and Adani was to demonstrate on both left and right activists don’t care about negative consequences of there aims. I have posed the question a number of time regarding where does this responsibility belong. As per comment to Kaye. I will be posting further on this topic. This is currently a phenomenon and I do have an interest in how every activist sees themselves as a participant in environmental change.

  193. diannaart

    your incessantly rude and indignant comments.

    Hmmmm …pot meet kettle…

    Looking forward to your next topic, which I do hope is clear and succinct. I will only contribute exactly what you want me to (I think this is what Palasczuk said to Turnbull over drinks).

  194. Trish Corry

    You are under no obligation to comment on my articles. However I appreciate civil and serious input at anytime.

  195. Freethinker

    I do not have the terms and conditions between Australia and Adani regarding measures to protect the environment because I am against any industry or investment where there is a severe risk of damage the environment.
    IMHO any investment or macroeconomic plan have to be to serve the people and therefore protect the environment regardless of the possible economic gains to a country or region.

    Assuming that all the protections are there I would like to know if Adani it is prepared to accepting the same conditions that Scandinavian companies have accepted when investing in other countries.
    As an example UPM-Kymmene, the world’s biggest producer of graphic papers, have invested billions in Uruguay with the condition that any breach to the environmental condition will immediately cancel the operations without any kind of compensations by the Uruguayan government.
    The air and water quality will be analysed monthly by Uruguay and Argentina plus an independent laboratory in Canada.
    The trees for the operation of the plant have to be planted in non productive land by UPM.
    Processing of the pulp have to clean of bad emissions and generate electricity for the plant plus the town where it is located.
    Not only UPM have accepted these conditions and risking billions of dollars but also now is going to build a second plant which will be one of the largest in the world, an investment of 5 billion dollar.
    The company knowing that the production of that plant will generate an income of over 5% of the country GDP asked for tax concessions.
    The concessions were rejected and UPM was happy to continuing with the project.
    Not only UPM was happy to invest under these very strict conditions, Stora Enso is a leading provider of renewable solutions in packaging, biomaterials, wooden constructions and paper on global markets also invested in the country with another plant generating 4% of the country GDP.

    The above observations make me think the following:
    Why reputable ethical companies are prepared to invest in a country which ask for so strict conditions and also have a very strong union movement and not in Australia?
    Why Tasmania have so much trouble to attract the same kind of investors?
    Can be one of the factors that the Australian, federal and state governments have very little regards for the environment and native forest?
    Why it is that companies are prepared to invest billions of dollars without any tax concessions risking their investment in case of damage or affect the water and air quality and not prepared to do it here?

    Is Australia prepared to immediately close a mine, oil exploration or any other natural resources exploration adventure in case breaching a severe conditions?

    Just a thought and would like to hearing comments about it.

  196. Trish Corry

    They are very good regulations. I believe that regulations can be used as a healthy compromise to encourage industry and mitigate climate change. If you are so concerned about Adani, I’m wondering why you aren’t picking apart the 200 provisions in place to see if they are adequate, but you know the provisions in a Scandinavian country.

  197. Freethinker

    Trish, I repeat what I have previous aid: I do not have the terms and conditions between Australia and Adani regarding measures to protect the environment because I am against any industry or investment where there is a severe risk of damage the environment.
    I do not care about 200 or 1000 provisions, once the damage it is done it is not reversible.

    Compensation for a possible breach it is not enough for me, I am not in favor of it because the risk it is to big to contemplate regardless of the conditions.
    It appears to me that you are more concerned in the financial benefits of few instead of the health of the ecosystem that it is essential to live.
    Your macroeconomics ideas are complete opposite to mine.
    The provisions that I have mentioned are imposed on OS companies, in this case by Uruguay to a Finish company.
    I mentioned the example of UPM because is in the same business that would be attracted in Australia and specially in Tasmania but for some reason they never come.
    Read again my questions if you are interested.

  198. Trish Corry

    Ok. Sorry was a tad confused that you thought the provisions in Scandinavia were good. My next two articles are:
    Does environmental activism come from a position of privilege? And
    Environmental Activism: Is it ethical.
    Your comment speaks to the heart of these. I hope you read them and provide your view. Hopefully both published by Sunday.

  199. diannaart


    I believe I have provided serious discussion, as have Kaye Lee, Freethinker, Keith, Michael Taylor, Paul Walter, Rossleigh and many others.

    Looking forward to your forthcoming articles – at least I now mostly understand your POV.

  200. Freethinker

    I just put to you one single point in that 200 provisions that you have mentioned.
    From the report:
    “Adani is not required to take further action or make good the unexpected harm,”

    I would like to see: Adani will intermediately cease all operations, close the mining, restore or pay all the cost to restore the land to the original conditions.
    Also Adani should deposit a 1 billon dollars bond in case of future insolvency to restore any damage.

    That would sound much better.

  201. diannaart

    Hear, Hear! Freethinker.

  202. Freethinker

    Trish, when you publish the next article about ethics should address not only the environmentalists but also the other sides, governments and investors.
    Also a question if are not ethical, why not, of why not will be appropriated IMHO
    Thank you for your contribution.

  203. Trish Corry

    Thanks Free for your suggestions , but I’m capable of determining the content of my own articles ? Perhaps you could write an article in response, depending on your view on it of course. The more articles the better.

  204. Trish Corry

    I would not disagree with that. I’m surprised serious environmentalists haven’t offered more challenge to what they would deem as weak laws.

  205. Freethinker

    Trish, was not my intention to offending you, I withdraw my suggestions, there is not use to interact in issues when is a childish response by the author.

  206. Trish Corry

    Ok sorry you read it that way. I even used a darn emoticon!

  207. Kaye Lee

    Companies that breach regulations in this country suffer insignificant consequences. Unions on the other hand get hit with enormous penalties. The government gets a lot more of unionists’ money in fines than the few rorters like Kathy Jackson have scammed.

    Constantly asking people to review the 200 environmental regulations is just silly when anyone can review Adani’s record of breaking regulations and the consequences of the many accidents around the world mining and transporting resources. It is also the case that climate change was not considered in the environmental regulations which kind of make them a farce.

    I have just spoken to a young woman who will be running the Labor campaign for one of the affected electorates in Queensland in the next election. She had some fabulous ideas and is hungry for more suggestions. We have to get more creative and realistic than coal.

    She told me about her ideas, I discussed some of mine – she is an amazing young woman…let’s help her. What can we come up with?

  208. Trish Corry

    I don’t think it is ever silly to take an informed view – particularly when one is protesting against something. Who is the candidate?

  209. Johno

    Did you look at the film clip that Keith posted yesterday at 10.49 am.

  210. Kaye Lee

    The young lady I am discussing is not a candidate. She is running the campaign and I would prefer not to disclose her identity without permission as she is not running for office. It should also not be necessary in order to offer ideas. The main thrust of our discussion was what Labor could do to promote employment apart from climate destroying mining and what they could do to help the environment instead.

    And I am sorry if you think my view is uninformed. I just think repeatedly badgering people to specify which of the environmental conditions they want changed and how is a pointless exercise considering regulations don’t stop breaches or accidents from happening with paltry consequences to the company.

  211. Trish Corry

    I did not say your view was uninformed. I said I don’t think it is silly to understand a topic (ie environmental provisions) if one is protesting against it. I’m also sorry you think regulations are pointless.

  212. Kaye Lee

    You are correct. You did not say my view was uniformed just as I did not say regulations were pointless.

  213. Trish Corry

    Ok the reason I ask people which one of provisions is not good enough because most people wanting to shut down jobs and our economy, don’t even have the consideration nor interest, to check if anything is in place that would address their concerns.

  214. Rossleigh

    Trish, you have already decided that the mine should go ahead. Therefore, you are judging everything through that prism. And I appreciate that you are actually raising an interesting question.

    However, you probably need to take a step back and consider how you’d feel if we always adopted what you were saying as a general principle. Most of the examples I can think of are far too hyperbolic and would just sound like a provocation, so I may think on it and come back to it later.

  215. Trish Corry

    No worries Ross. I will be expanding on this with two articles over the weekend. I hope you see the case I will put forward is not simply hyperbole. I will be using an ethical framework to demonstrate one, just so the high number of environmentalist who frequent AIMN can’t just say I made it up.

  216. Kaye Lee

    Has anyone here ever said to you that you just made something up Trish?

    I must confess I am a little perturbed by the titles of your upcoming articles – “Does environmental activism come from a position of privilege?” and “Environmental Activism: Is it ethical.”

    Do mining advocates come from a position of expecting the very high (comparatively) wages/profits they have been used to to continue? Are we to ignore the role automation has played in mining job losses? Is ignoring the environment ethical? If opening a new coalmine means job losses at another coalmine, should anyone care? Do the rest of the world have a right to want action on climate change if it will mean some people will no longer find jobs in mining fossil fuels?

  217. Trish Corry

    Wow perturbed by upcoming titles before your read the article.. I’ll take note to judge your work on your headlines in future. Let’s not forget the scathing attacks when I dared criticise your article ONE time. Some of those questions will be answered in future posts. Until then. I’m out. This is now spiralling into another one of “those threads”

  218. Kaye Lee

    I said I was perturbed by the titles and demonstrated why. Obviously I am yet to view the content but, as you shared them, I assume you invite comment or you would have waited until they were written.

    Trish, there is no need to make this personal. I know you feel attacked by me. I am sorry I have made you feel that way. It was not my intention but unless you get total agreement on everything, you seem to take it personally.

    I did not intend to dreail your topic. I tried to make constructive contributions, as others have tried to do and suffered your scorn for their trouble.

    Please understand, we are all on the same side.

  219. Matters Not

    Perhaps Ideas are best discussed when reputations (however constructed) aren’t on the line? So that personal proximity doesn’t become the issue?

    While I like to ‘attack’ ideas (and have my own closely examined) I am somewhat distracted by ‘personal’ considerations. The potential for misunderstandings is magnified.

  220. Kaye Lee

    I apologise.

  221. Matters Not

    Why? For what?

  222. Kaye Lee

    Mentioning personal stuff. Anyhoo, time for bed.

  223. Johno

    I am asking you a second time. Did you watch the film clip that Keith posted on this thread May 31, 2017 at 10:49 am ?

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