Gilmore community members will rally against the federal government’s support of the Adani coal mine set to be built in QLD tomorrow at Gerroa Beach.
And while Gilmore MP Ann Sudmadlis has lent an ear to protesters, she does not share their concerns.
“I have met with the Stop Adani group on two separate occasions and even participated in viewing an hour-long presentation on Adani,” Mrs Sudmalis said.
“The success of this project is vitally important to the communities of Central QLD who are also currently facing high levels of unemployment – these communities are desperate for mining projects in the Galilee Basin to go ahead.”
She argued the government’s prioritising the protection of the Great Barrier Reef.
“We have some of the most stringent environmental laws in the world,” Mrs Sudmalis said.
“The Adani project has received environmental approvals from both the Queensland and Commonwealth Governments – these approvals come with over 300 strict conditions.
“When environmental activists say that this mine will damage the Great Barrier Reef, people need to realise that the mine will be located over 300km away from the reef.
“Adani’s Carmichael project will operate in Australia under Australia’s robust environmental, mining, corporate and other laws.
“The Australian Government is committed to protecting the Great Barrier Reef, a world heritage site, for future generations.
“Overall, the Australian and Queensland Governments will invest more than $2 billion in the health of the Reef in the coming decade.
“In addition, the Government has established the Reef Fund, which will provide up to $1 billion over 10 years in investment finance to support projects in the reef catchment area that deliver clean energy, reduce emissions and improve water quality.”
She addressed environmentalists’ concerns about the government’s proposal to loan $1 billion of taxpayer funds to the company, to get the project under way.
“In relation to potential funding under the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (NAIF), I note that the North Galilee Basin Rail Project was one of several projects put forward by the QLD government as a potential project for the board of the NAIF to consider,” Mrs Sudmalis said.
“The $5 billion NAIF is a major long term initiative of the Australian government’s White Paper on Developing Northern Australia.
“It may offer concessional loans to encourage and complement private sector investment in infrastructure that benefit the development of northern Australia.
“Investment decisions for the NAIF are a matter for its skills-based independent board. Applications will be assessed against merit criteria set out under the NAIF’s investment mandate.”
On Saturday at 11am, Stop Adani Gilmore will make a human sign on Seven Mile Beach, Gerroa.
If you’d like to be a part of the human sign meet just over the footbridge at Burke Parade.