Bob Brown blasts suggestion Adani convoy handed LNP government


“That is a swing to the Greens nationwide across this country and there is this emerging feeling right across this country that the environment does matter and that what we do to the environment we do to the economy.”

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Mr Brown said if his Stop Adani convoy did not change the minds of ordinary Australians “that was a failure on my behalf”.

He said in Clermont he had spoken to the region’s indigenous “first Australians” but agreed he did not hold a meeting with the people of Clermont.

“I’ll try harder as we go into the future,” he said.

“Because it is right that we, in this wealthy country – the wealthiest country per capita on the planet ever – should be thinking of the people that come after us and the future of this planet.”

Mr Brown described the Queensland government’s approval of Adani’s black-throated finch management strategy as akin to “shooting it into oblivion” in the face of the “best scientific advice”.

Protestors move to line the main streets of Clermont as the Stop Adani convoy arrives in early May.Credit:Lucy Stone.

Mr Brown said he, along with many bird experts, did not understand the plans to shift the black-throated finch from the mine site to adjacent territory.

The endangered finch had already made the decision to stay near waterholes and seed, he said.

The company has set aside 33,000 hectares of land to allow the black-throated finch to relocate.

“The scientists said the finch has had 10,000 years to go there if that was (suitable) habitat and it didn’t,” he said.

Queensland's Co-ordinator-General and the Department of Environment and Science approved Adani's black-throated finch management plan.

Queensland’s Co-ordinator-General and the Department of Environment and Science approved Adani’s black-throated finch management plan.

Mr Brown announced plans to widen the Stop Adani convoy approach by focusing on the mining company’s record in India.

“We will be holding a protest outside the Indian High Commission in Canberra on Saturday week to protest about (Indian billionaire Gautam) Adani’s behaviour in his home country,” he said.

“Where he is now planning to override the wishes of the local people and destroy 843 hectares of dense forest in central India against the wishes of the local Gond people.

“Those forests contain elephants and leopards and sloth bears that were thought be protected,” he said.

Mr Brown said the forests were going to be strip-mined for coal. Last month, the Adani Group said those reports were wrong and it had not acquired the forest land.

“The Adani Group strongly objects factually incorrect and malicious claims made by you. We have not acquired the referred piece of land nor has the government sold it to us. We do not own any mine in Chattisgarh,” the company said in a statement.

Mr Brown said his foundation had a long-term strategy.

“The important thing to note is that the spotlight on Adani and what he is doing globally in an age of climate urgency is going to continue,” he said.

“We will see to that.”

Mr Brown, who spoke at conservation meetings in Hobart, Canberra and Sydney in the past week, said people still cared about environmental issues.

He said the federal election outcome was not a demonstration that environmental issues had been rejected.

“People are busy about their livelihoods,” he said.

“You could argue that they did not care so much about a whole range of economic issues as well.

“But I have never seen the environment so high on the public agenda since the days of the Franklin River campaign and I just think that is going to continue.”

Mr Brown welcomed news former US vice president Al Gore would be running a three-day climate change workshop in Brisbane, beginning on Wednesday, World Environment Day.

Mr Brown said Australians should take note of how large companies investing in Australia behaved overseas.

“We should do due diligence on everybody investing in Australia,” he said.

Mr Brown said Australian authorities had raised questions Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei andAdani’s overseas environmental record raised similar questions.

“It is no different,” he said.

Tony Moore is a senior reporter at the Brisbane Times

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