Ok, I was going to write about Trump’s attack on Syria and my confusion that some of the same people who were worried that Trump would react emotionally and attack another country are now applauding his actions because he reacted emotionally to the footage of the gas attack. And then I realised that I’d have hundreds of comments telling that it wasn’t Assad who launched the attack and then the comments would be filled with different conspiracy theories and I’d get a headache because I’d end up asking someone who said that prefered Trump to Hillary because at least he wasn’t responsible for bombing other countries now sees it as ok, while simultaneously accusing me of blindly swallowing everything I read…
Which sort of brings me to Adani…
Now, I know that some of you will tell us that Adani will bring jobs to Queensland and unemployment is high and people really need a job and if you don’t see that you’re no better than one of those “greenie vigilantes” trying to use the court system to test whether anything their doing is against the law. As The Australian told us: “After the 2015 meeting, Mr Adani said he had pressed Mr Turnbull to legislate to stop environmental groups delaying the project in the courts. The Abbott government’s attempt to amend the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act to stop “vigilante” activists was stymied in the Senate a month before Mr Turnbull became Prime Minister.”
This use of the courts is, of course, just a delaying tactic because it’s not going to stop the mine. If anything is found to be against the law, then it’s a relatively simple matter to bring in legislation to change things. Take the proposed changes to native title, for example.
And I know that the Coalition’s statements on energy – apart from the oxymoronic nature of the idea of vigilantes using the courts – sounds to some of you like:
“We’re going to build a meth lab! It’s going to bring heaps of money in and it’ll create employment…”
“Shouldn’t we be trying to get people off drugs like ice?”
“No, no, it’s going to be part of our drug mix for the forseeable future and we intend to make cleaner ice than other countries so it’s really helping to improve the health of your average addict!”
“But ice is one of the worst drugs!”
“Now, now, we need to be agnostic about drugs. The most important thing is ensuring that supply isn’t interrupted and that we keep costs down!”
So when it was discovered – or alleged, let’s not be too cavalier with our words here – that Adani’s Abbot Point port had a coal spill which caused contamination, Adani was quick to point out that they were acting, quote, “within the requirements of the temporary emissions licence”, it’s caused a few of those green vigilantes to worry about a whole range of things… Like Adani being offered unlimited access to water for its mine. So when Adani doesn’t employ anyone, shifts the money to its Cayman Islands account and tells us all that it’s going to sell the water back to Queensland, will we be told that it’s acting within the requirements of its contract?
However, the thing that I find most puzzling is the idea that we need to find nearly a billion dollars for a dodgy company to ensure that they build a mine for a product – coal – that may not have a long-term future. Imagine what a boost to jobs in Northern Queensland if they instead just simply gave an interest-free loan of a million dollars to a thousand Queenslanders who wanted to start up a business. Granted, some of them would go broke, but they’d have provided a lot more employment than Adani in the meantime!
But of course, I am overlooking that we’re not doing this for the money. It’s not really about making a profit; it’s about being altruistic. As Malcolm Turnbull wrote in today’s paper: “Its (India’s) economic takeoff is lifting millions out of poverty, transforming the country into the world’s fastest-growing major economy, with forecasted growth of 7.5 per cent in 2017.” And Barnaby Joyce was also on radio telling us about how we needed to give Adani the billion for the railway line because it’s needed for the deal to go ahead. He, too, was talking about the millions in India being “lifted” out of poverty… Lifted? Doesn’t that make them leaners, if they need to be lifted? Anyway, it’s just about helping out our Indian neighbours. It’s a humanitarian act.
We’re such philanthropists. Makes one wonder why we keep cutting foreign aid.