A campaign to ensure the north coast becomes Australia’s first ‘Adani-Free Zone’ kicks off outside Lismore City Council Chambers today (October 4).
Co-organiser Ben Pennings says the campaign demands local councils not to enter into contracts with any company closely connected with Adani.
Veteran campaigner with North East Rainforest Alliance and Lock The Gate Nan Nicholson has joined the local Galilee Blockade group to ensure Northern Rivers becomes the first ‘Adani-Free Zone’ in Australia.
She said Northern Rivers communities had ‘stood strong to protect our land and water from invasive gas fields, with hundreds getting arrested. We will stand together to protect the Great Barrier Reef, the Great Artesian Basin and a liveable planet for our kids and grandkids.’
‘I can’t think of more engaged communities to make such a vital stand for the future. We’ll keep Downer and anyone else in bed with Adani out of the Northern Rivers.’
Ben Pennings, national spokesperson for Galilee Blockade, said, ‘citizens will use their personal and collective power to keep any company in bed with Adani out of their region. Local communities deserve better service providers than money-hungry companies willing to risk catastrophic climate change.’
‘Downer are the preferred contractor to build and operate Adani’s controversial Carmichael mine. As a large diverse company they don’t need this $2.6bn contract and can easily withdraw without financial penalty.’
‘Northern Rivers’ roads are a mess due to extreme flooding exacerbated by climate change. Downer are in bed with Adani, willing to worsen climate change to the detriment of ratepayers. Local councils should reject any Downer tenders on ethical grounds till Downer withdraw from plans to build the disastrous Carmichael Mine.’
He says Byron Council is considering using Downer, and the company ‘wants to establish a large presence in the region.’
Byron Council staff replied that, ‘Kyogle, Lismore, Byron and Richmond Valley councils have a regional panel contract with NSW Spray Seal for the supply of bitumen services in the northern rivers, which is a subsidiary of RPQ Group, which is a subsidiary of the Downer Group.’
Day of action activities
As part of a National Day of Action opposing the Adani coalmine on Saturday, October 7, an event will be held at the Norries Headland Park Cabarita from 11am to 1pm. this. Richmond MP Justine Elliot and Tweed Deputy Mayor Reece Byrnes will be in attendance.
Another group will be hoping to make a human ‘Stop-Adani’ sign at Main Beach, Byron Bay, from 2pm. Participants are asked to come wearing red as the sign will be photographed from the air by drone. Anyone who owns a drone is also asked to bring it if possible.