North Queensland Bishops join in against Adani

Contributed from Townsville

The news that Catholic and Anglican Bishops In Townsville have come together and issued a joint statement opposing the development of the Adani coal mine, is a shot in the arm for the thousands that have been campaigning against it.

It is a slap in the face for the embattled Palaszczuk government, fighting for its survival in an election campaign. This could be the issue that will see Labor lose office on 25 November.

There is no joy for Turnbull and the Coalition in Canberra. The rising feeling against Adani is making its mark here too.

The statement accuses politicians and big business of failing to protect the common good and cited Pope Francis’ ground breaking encyclical on the environment of 2015, where it was said that “the Earth, our home, is beginning to look … like an immense pile of filth”.

They share the growing community concern over environmental damage, global warming and the destruction of the Great Barrier Reef, all problems that the mine will contribute to.

As the election campaign hots up, Anti-Adani protesters follow the campaign trail, using it as a platform to get their message across in a very public way.

The opposition Liberal National Party is even more pro-Adani than Queensland Labor.  There is a real prospect that support for the Greens will pick up substantially and there are signs that disgruntled traditional Labor supporters will turn to them.

There is also the spectre of One Nation. Although Pauline Hanson has been characteristically inconsistent, its supporters overwhelmingly also oppose the Adani project. And by distancing themselves from the major political parties are, expected to have something of a resurgence in the state.

ReachTEL polling around the mine, commissioned by Stop Adani, has shown that there is quite a broad understanding that in addition to concern about the environmental,  there is an understanding that the promised economic benefits will not materialise. And this cuts across political stripes.

Interestingly, the poll suggests that feeling against the Carmichael mine is very high among National Party supporters in rural electorates and this is where the election outcome may well be decided.

The unpopularity of the major parties, nudged along by the Adani issue, has a very good chance in no party being able to form a government in its own right, meaning that in order to hold office and form a minority government, one or the other of the major parties will have to make some deals.

Adani has good cause to have some sleepless nights.


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