ABC Radio National
Adani protest: Bob Brown compares coalminers to heroin dealers as convoy begins
MATTHEW DENHOLM TASMANIA CORRESPONDENT
Bob Brown has likened coalminers to heroin dealers, as he embarks on a “stop Adani” convoy from Hobart to Canberra via New South Wales and Queensland.
After a rally in Hobart, the former Greens leader told The Australian the convoy aimed to elevate the issue of the controversial Queensland coalmine, and climate change more broadly, during the election campaign.
He rejected the argument that it was pointless stopping the massive Adani Carmichael mine, proposed for the Galilee Basin, given that the coal would otherwise simply be mined elsewhere in the world.
“That’s the heroin dealer’s lament — if I didn’t do it somebody else would,” Dr Brown told The Australian. “It’s not an ethical argument.
“The argument really for everybody is: do I want this wealthiest of nations per capita on earth to be disproportionately responsible for the worst outcomes for our children?
“We’ve just seen the floods in Townsville, the fires in Tasmania and the Murray-Darling fish deaths, all made worse by burning coal.”
Dr Brown said more than 700 vehicles had signed up for stages of the convoy, which will travel across Bass Strait on the Spirit of Tasmania ferry tonight, as it heads to Melbourne, Albury, Sydney, Coffs Harbour, Mullumbimby, Brisbane, Yeppoon, Airlie Beach, Mackay, the Galilee Basin and finally, on May 5, Canberra.
“If we can get Australians … thinking ‘I want to vote against Adani’ as they go up to the ballot box this election, our convoy will have achieved what it set out to do,” he said.
The participants, expected to number about 2000 during the course of the convoy, will be holding rallies at various points, including in the Galilee Basin.
Dr Brown played down the risk of violence, given strong support in some communities for the mine, saying all convoy participants had committed to nonviolence and that organisers had “great liaison” with Queensland police.