Mining is a dirty business in every way. It takes our minerals and resources, owned by every Australian, while 87 per cent of the profits go overseas.
It brought down two sitting prime ministers: Gough Whitlam and Kevin Rudd. Gough wanted mines to be 100 per cent Australian owned; Kevin wanted to tax them. Oh no, tax is what the average Australian worker pays not a mining company making a $1bn a week profit.
And what do they leave us with? A hole in the ground you can see from space and a stinking toxic mess that will be around for thousands of years.
Friends of mine recently returned from a trip to central Queensland: the mining was over and all the locals were left with was a tailings dam containing enough cyanide to wipe out the Barrier Reef, the walls of which are dirt. What happens if it floods, let alone if there is a cyclone?
Miners take the resources they don’t own from land they don’t own, make huge profits and pay us next to nothing. A few locals get a few crumbs, a few Australians get rich beyond their wildest dreams and all of us are left with an environmental disaster many generations will have to live with.
Good on the local councils for taking a stand – it’s blatantly obvious next to no-one wants it.
Graeme Cooney, Murwillumbah