Expressing concern over the potential damage to fragile Great Barrier Reef in Australia by the proposed coal mine project by Adani group prominent citizens of Australia have urged the company to drop the project.
The signatories to the letter include Australia’s former cricket captain Ian Chapell, singer Missy Hingis, Pultizer prize winning author Terry Hughes and others.
They have urged Adani to abandon the USD 21 billion mine project, a plea the company rejected as “motivated” by a very small group “misled” people.
The open letter cited public opposition, risks to miners’ health, climate change and potential impact on the fragile Great Barrier Reef as reasons not to proceed with the project in the Galilee Basin.
Adani Group spokesperson rejected the letter as “motivated” by “a very small group of 76 misled people. The proposed mine in Australia has been cleared after rigorous assessments and strict conditions”.
“Cricket has a bit to do with the feeling between India and Australia,” said Ian Chappell. “The thought that this [mine] could affect the relationship, hopefully that’ll get through.”
The letter calls on Adani to invest in renewables instead, and concludes that it would be a “great shame” were the mine to “damage the image of India in Australia”.
Adani Group spokesperson said the proposed mine is supported fully by people of regional Queensland and their elected representatives.
“The proposed mine will help in providing energy security to millions of Indians who are without electricity while creating thousands of jobs and economic benefits for the state of Queensland in particular and Australia in general. It is a project which will create enormous social and economic value for both the countries of Australia and India,” the spokesperson added.
The USD 21.7 billion Carmichael coal mine project, one of the world’s largest, is set to start construction this year after being given the green light by the federal and Queensland state governments.
The project involves dredging 1.1 million cubic metres of spoil near the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, which will then be disposed of on land.
(For news in Hindi see our Hindi daily Chaupal Chronicle)