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An open Letter to Mr Gautam Adani Chair, The Adani Group

Thu 16 March 2017

Download the full letter as a PDF 120KB >>

Dear Mr Adani,

We are writing to respectfully ask you to abandon the Adani Group’s proposal to dig the Carmichael coal mine in Queensland’s Galilee Basin.

We would like to put to you three reasons why this mine should never go ahead.

One, the Carmichael mine would be the biggest coal mine ever dug in Australia. Once its coal is burnt, it will contribute more climate-changing pollution to the atmosphere than the entire country of New Zealand does every year. Last year record-breaking ocean temperatures triggered a devastating coral bleaching event on the Great Barrier Reef – a natural wonder that visitors from every nation love. Sadly, another bleaching event is currently underway for an unprecedented second consecutive year. Pollution from burning coal is the single biggest driver of global warming, threatening life in Australia, India and all over the world.

Two, coal is a killer. Coal is the biggest single cause of air pollution in Australia. Air pollution kills an estimated 3 million people globally each year. Coal burning is a key contributor. Black lung disease has re-emerged in Queensland, afflicting 19 coal mine workers. Last month The Lancet, one of the world’s leading medical journals, published a report that described your company’s Carmichael mine proposal as a “public health disaster”.

Three, this mine proposal does not have wide public support in Australia and does not have the support of the Traditional Owners of the land where the mine would be dug. There are concerns about the impact the mine will have on groundwater resources and on nearby farmers who rely on this water for their livelihoods.

Increasingly, Australians are deeply worried about how climate change is affecting our country through worse heatwaves, bushfires and reef bleaching. Australians know coal is driving global warming. And they definitely don’t want the publicly funded Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility to finance a railway line to service the Carmichael mine. A recent poll showed 75% of Australians would prefer the funding went towards renewable energy, not infrastructure for coal companies.

True, the Queensland and federal governments are bending over backwards to fast-track this mine. True, they have changed water laws, stripped farmers of appeal rights, are attempting to change native title laws and have earmarked $1 billion of public money to build the rail line.

But we urge you to think about global warming and public health and listen to the wishes of the people.

It would be a great shame if this one project were to damage the image of India in Australia.

We understand the Adani Group has not made a final investment decision on the Carmichael coal mine. We strongly urge you to decide to abandon this project.

We the undersigned – and we believe all Australians – would support and welcome moves by your company to invest further in renewable energy in Australia.



Geoffrey Cousins AM Business and community leader

Dr Lindsay Simpson Great Barrier Reef tourism operator

Bruce Currie Queensland farmer

Imogen Zethoven AO Australian Marine Conservation Society

Ian Chappell Former Captain of the Australian Cricket Team

Greg Chappell Former Captain of the Australian Cricket Team

Bob Brown Former Australian Senator

Christine Milne Former Australian Senator

Tim Winton Award winning author

David Williamson AO Playwright and screenwriter

Kristin Williamson Author and journalist

Richard Flanagan Award winning author

John Mullen Business leader

Simon McKeon 2011 Australian of the Year

Indira Naidoo Author and TV presenter

Ian Dunlop Former Chair, Australian Coal Association

John Thwaites Former Deputy Premier Victoria

Ken Peters Dodd Birriah Widi Traditional Owner

Midnight Oil Australian rock band

Peter Garrett AM Musician, environmentalist and former politician

Rob Hirst Musician

Naomi Klein Author

Ben Elton Comedian and author

Aunty Carol Prior Juru Traditional Owner

Mark Burrows Investment banker

David Paradice Paradice Investment Management Pty Ltd

Professor Tim Flannery Councillor Climate Council and 2007 Australian of the Year

Geraldine Brooks AO Pulitzer prize winning author

Missy Higgins Australian singer, songwriter

Helen Garner Writer

Renata Kaldor AO Business and community leader

Robyn Nevin AM Actress and Former CEO, Queensland Theatre Company, Sydney Theatre Company

Michael Dillon AM Cinematographer and documentary maker

Robin de Crespigny Author and filmmaker

Mark Joiner Business leader

Robert Purves AM Purves Environmental Fund

John Butler Musician

Dr Anne Poelina Nyikina Traditional Custodian

David Fisher Producer, The Science Show ABCRN

Professor Carmen Lawrence President, Conservation Council of Western Australia

Distinguished Professor Terry Hughes FAA Reef scientist

Keith Tuffley CEO, The B Team

Dr Nigel Westlake Composer

Edmund Capon Former Director, Art Gallery of New South Wales

Bernard Fanning Musician

Darleen Bungey Writer

Professor Robert Costanza Chair of Public Policy, Australian National University Professor

Fiona Stanley AC, FAA, FASSA Distinguished Research Professor University of Western Australia, Vice-Chancellor’s Fellow University of Melbourne, 2003 Australian of the Year

Garry Shead Artist

Virginia Duigan Author and screenwriter

Sally Morrison Biographer and fiction writer

Janet Laurence Artist

Ben Quilty Artist, activist, Trustee of Art Gallery of New South Wales and Honorary Doctorate Western Sydney University

Andrew Davies Publisher and musician

Anne Manne Writer

Peter Kingston Artist

Richard Walsh Publisher and social commentator

Lea Ferris Caring citizen

Ash Grunwald Musician

Tim Hollo Musician and CEO, Green Music Australia

Graeme Wood Entrepreneur, philanthropist and environmentalist

Aunty Beryl Carmichael Nyampa Elder and author

Arnold Zable Author, novelist and human rights advocate

Professor Lesley Hughes Councillor Climate Council

Andrew Stock Councillor Climate Council

Professor David Karoly IPCC Lead Author

Bill McKibben Author and Co-founder,

May Boeve Co-founder and Executive Director,

Koreti Tiurnalu Pacific Coordinator,

Blair Palese CEO, Australia

Dr Jonathan King OA AA Best-selling, award-winning author and historian

Ben Oquist Executive Director, The Australia Institute

Joanna Weston Australian athlete and environmentalist

Sheila Nguyen Executive Director, Sports Environmental Alliance (SEA)

Mike Sheahan Australian journalist, #SEA Ambassador

Jeff McMullen Journalist, author and film maker

Ross Tzannes AM Lawyer and community leader

Toby Barber Renewable Energy Engineer

David Ritter CEO, Greenpeace Australia Pacific

Kirsty Albion Director, Australian Youth Climate Coalition

Amanda McKenzie CEO, Climate Council

Kelly O’Shanassy CEO, Australian Conservation Foundation

Paul Oosting National Director, Getup!

Archie Law Executive Director, ActionAid Australia

Claire O’Rourke National Director, Solar Citizens

Cam Walker Campaign Coordinator, Friends of the Earth

Kate Smolski CEO, Nature Conservation Council of New South Wales

Craig Wilkins Chief Executive, Conservation Council of South Australia

Shar Molloy Director, Environment Centre Northern Territory

Mark Wakeham CEO, Environment Victoria

Darren Kindleysides Director, Australian Marine Conservation Society

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