Former Environment Minister and rock music icon Peter Garrett, in a prestigious National Press Club address today, has criticised Australian governments for supporting Adani’s coal mine which he says will accelerate climate change and threaten the World Heritage listed Great Barrier Reef.
Mr Garrett was Federal Environment Minister for the Labor Government from 2007-2010 and Cabinet Minister from 2007-13. A member of the Order of Australia for contributions to the music industry and environment, Mr Garrett is lead singer of Midnight Oil, one of Australia’s most successful bands. Read more here.
Mr Garrett’s speech condemns the proposed AU$1 billion loan of public money to Mr Adani’s project, for a mine which he notes is opposed by Indigenous people, will take vast amounts of water from Australian farmers and put the Great Barrier Reef and jobs which rely on the Reef at risk.
On the growing public push in Australia to stop the coal mine going ahead, Mr Garrett said, “The Stop Adani campaign, the fourth major fight to save the Reef, is a defining moment that must be won if we are to have any hope of preserving a safe climate and the Reef.”
Mr Garrett pledged that his world famous rock band, Midnight Oil, will support Australians rallying to oppose the project.
The Australian Marine Conservation Society’s Fight for Our Reef Campaign Director Imogen Zethoven said most Australians believe the state of the Great Barrier Reef is a national emergency. They want governments to reduce carbon pollution and invest more public money in clean energy sources like solar and wind.
“Our Great Barrier Reef has already suffered two back-to-back bleaching events driven by climate change. As a result, half of all the Reef’s shallow water corals bleached and died.
“The outlook for the Reef is grim unless the government stops free riding and accepts its responsibility to do our fair share of global carbon pollution reduction to keep the world below a 1.5 C temperature rise.
“International corporation Adani is trying to bulldoze through the world’s largest export coal mine which would generate billions of tonnes of pollution, accelerate global warming and put our Reef in even more danger.
“Any threat to the Reef is also a threat to the 64,000 workers who depend on a healthy Reef for their livelihoods, not to mention the $6 billion it generates every year for the Australian economy,” Ms Zethoven said.
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