Contributed from Townsville
Activist group Galilee Blockade has received a letter from lawyers representing Adani that says the mining company will take “all steps available to it,” should activists obtain confidential information from employees.
This follows the group’s urging supporters to sign up for jobs on the proposed Queensland mining project. Legal action includes seeking a permanent injunction on using obtained information and suing for costs and inducing a breach of contract by an employee.
The legal firm involved is Herbert Smith Freehills, which is well known for its connections to the Liberal Party and prime mover in anti-union activities.
The conduct of Galilee Blockade is described as “unlawful” and the mining company “will take legitimate steps to protect itself from these threatened unlawful activities”.
The Carmichael mine has brought together many opponents, the traditional owners, a large part of the local community and campaigners for the protection of the Great Barrier reef, to environmentalists from around Australia. The campaign has been so successful that Adani has had to rely on his cultivated political connections at the Federal government and in Queensland.
Legal action has been threatened because the opposition is being effective. While those prepared to take the risk, were always going to face the possibility of prosecution. This did not require a letter.It has come about to put pressure on the Galilee Blockade to pull back.
It won’t succeed, because it is already seen as a provocation and has guaranteed that there will be an opposite response.
The campaign is calling for widespread community support that sends Adani the very clear message. The Carmichael coal mine is not wanted when Australia needs to move away from coal dependency and when the project puts at risk, the already endangered Great Barrier Reef, which is one of the world’s leading centres of biodiversity and Queensland’s premier tourist attraction.
Nor should Australia welcome the presence of a company that has achieved global infamy for corruption, unsafe practices, disregard for the environment and large scale tax evasion.
Galilee Blockade has claimed its campaign, using civil disobedience to target Adani and related businesses, will be international in scope and “dwarf” the Franklin river campaign, a previous high point of environmental protest in Australia.