The Queensland Palaszczuk Labor Government has given its final environmental approval to the Adani Carmichael coal mine in Central Queensland. This means that construction on the mine can begin after nearly a decade of being subjected to both state and federal government approval processes.
The Palaszczuk Government sped up the final approvals in the wake of its Labor colleagues’ appalling result in Queensland at the just-past federal election. Labor lost two seats in Queensland, meaning it now holds only 6 out of 30, with massive swings against Labor in North and Central Queensland.
Then Labor leader Bill Shorten used weasel words when asked if he supported Adani during the election, always stating support if the project stacked up environmentally and economically. This was widely seen as giving him an out, if he had won the election, for his Queensland counterparts to cancel the project based on “environmental” reasons.
Before the election, the Palaszczuk Government had hinted it was likely to reject the mine, as Deputy Premier Jackie Trad told parliament in February that miners should reskill with the world moving against coal.
Labor previously subjected the approval process to a further delay in early May because of concerns the mine would impact the black-throated finch bird.
Labor’s allies, the Greens and GetUp, campaigned heavily against the Adani mine. Former Greens leader Bob Brown led the Stop Adani Convoy, which travelled from Hobart in Tasmania, up to Central Queensland where the mine is to be built.
The convoy was not welcomed by the locals who refused to serve the drive-up protestors in their businesses, as they had travelled to the area with the intention of stopping jobs being created for the locals and increased economic activity in the area.
With Labor’s poor result in Queensland being the decisive factor that kept the party out of federal Government, even leftist commentators turned on Bob Brown for campaigning too aggressively against the mine in the state.
In the end, the Palaszczuk Government – facing an electoral wipeout of its own in the 2020 state election – ended the placation of its green-left inner city base and has fast-tracked the final approval.
Local jobs and economic development have triumphed over green ideology; the Adani mine as a political issue is now over and the people of Queensland can now enjoy the benefits that it will bring to their state.