Mackay activist among hundreds at Adani protest
THE phone line was crackly as Peter McCallum spoke to the Daily Mercury Monday evening, as he passed through Ayr on his way to protest the Carmichael Coal Project in Townsville.
The Mackay Conservation Group co-ordinator (right) was among about six people from the region planning to take part in a major protest at The Strand from 8.35am Tuesday, ahead of Adani Group chairman Gautum Adani arriving in town to announce Townsville as the location for it's regional headquarters.
While he said Townsville was always going to be chosen, as he believed Adani had forced towns to pitch for the building simply to "keep people interested", he said the protest would be directed at a raft of other concerns.
News that Adani had progressed in it's application to reportedly access up to $1b in concessional loans from the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility to build its rail line was a key concern.
"There should not be subsidies given to private industry. It's a billion dollars of taxpayers' money," he said.
"But it's still nowhere near enough to fund the project. It's still very uncertain."
He said "a couple of hundred people" were expected at the protest.
Rather than protesting, the Wangan and Jagalingou Traditional Owners Council have sought an urgent meeting with Mr Adani during his sudden visit to Australia.
They also announced that last Friday they filed documents contesting registration of an Indigenous Land Use Agreement which purports to authorise the Adani mine.
Senior W&J Traditional Owner and Council spokesperson Adrian Burragubba said the state and federal governments had "knowingly overlooked that we stand in the way of this mine and when we say 'no' we mean no".
"Through our legal actions we are intent on stopping this massive and destructive project from moving forward," he said.
"We are acting on our resolution to say no to this dangerous coal mining project".