Contributed by Joe Montero
Faced with the constant opposition to the Carmichael coal mine, owner Gautam Adani has left no stone unturned, to ensure that he has swag of politicians enmeshed in that can only be called a corrupt web.
Corruption is the proper term. What Adani is doing in Australia has the smell of his company’s dealings in India and other countries. It is on the record that Australian political leaders have been given gifts. Junkets have been provided and taken part in.
Behavior that is corrupt does not only involve money filled brown paper bags. When financial contributions to the party or inducements of any sort are offered, in the expectation of favourable treatment, it is corrupt. When a network of well placed functionaries and politicians is built to exert pressure to create a given outcome, it is corrupt. When it comes to the mining industry greasing the wheels for politician compliance, Queensland has the worst history in Australia.
A group of politicians, majors and the premier were recently provided a trip to India, complete with the royal treatment and massaging the message to get agreement on the Carmichael project.
Now Australian prime minister Malcolm Turnbull has been to India, spruiking for Adani, as he partakes in photo shoots with him.
Turnbull has signaled that changes will be made to the Native Title Act to make it easier for mining companies to access traditional lands. The problem is that past agreements were declared invalid by the Federal Court in February, because these companies got individuals and groups to sign as substitutes for the approval of all traditional landowners. This is known as the McGlade decision.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has assured senior executives from Adani that native title issues threatening the Indian multinational’s proposed $21 billion Carmichael coal mine in Queensland’s Galilee Basin will be fixed.
There was a private meeting in New Delhi, between the Prime Minister, Gautam Adani and his top executives, Adani reportedly raised the land title issue and his concern that legislation has been held up in the Senate. He told Turnbull that he wants an early resolution. Turnbull came out of this meeting saying that “the issue needs to be fixed and will be fixed”. It seems that a move will be made as early as May.
The intended legislation is likely to overturn the condition that all traditional owners are needed to sign an agreement.
The Wangan and Jagalingou traditional owners have lodged documents in the Federal Court in Brisbane challenging claims Adani had the consent of all traditional owners to proceed with the mine.
If Adani’s plans plan succeeds, it will introduce a level of political corruption that is far greater than Australia has ever experienced before. This is another reason why it must be stopped.