Tweed Council has joined Byron and Lismore councils in rejecting dealings with the Adani Carmichael mine. The Councillors last night voted in favour of limiting councils engagement with entities that have business dealings with the Adani Carmichael mine. It passed a Notice of Motion that requires ‘all civil construction tenders to disclose any direct contractual agreement to construct or operate the mine’ with Mayor Katie Milne and Councillors Cherry, Cooper and Byrnes in favour while Councillors Polglase, Owen and Allsop voted against.
Mayor Katie Milne told Echonetdaily that the management report provided to council stated that council ‘can legally exclude tenders if they are associated with the Adani mine as long as we don’t include such a provision in the eventuating contract for the successful tenderer.’
‘That means we couldn’t terminate a contract under these grounds if they lied, but we could provide that we never engage with such a contractor again.’
In his speech during public access Barry Firth, spokesperson for Stop Adani Tweed emphasised that ‘scientists have been saying for a long time now that we need to “keep it in the ground”’.
The combination of Tweed, Lismore and Byron Shires rejecting business links who are linked to the Adani Carmichael mine means that ‘The Northern Rivers is now set to be declared an Adani-free zone,’ said David Norris a supporter of the Stop Adani Tweed Coast group.
‘This will set a precedent for other shires to follow and send a strong message to governments at a local, state and federal level that the people of Australia do not support the Adani or any other new coal mines.’
Impacts of the decision
The management report provided to council suggested that there could be a reduction in the pool of contractors, potentially less competitive prices, and a risk to Councils reputation with tenderers due to concerns such as impartiality.
‘These concerns seem petty in light of what we are facing with climate change,’ said Mayor Milne.
‘Our Council area suffered greatly during the 2017 flood. It cost our Council, our community and our businesses millions and millions of dollars, and most tragically six beautiful lives were lost.
‘There is scientific evidence now that the severe weather events around the world are already being exacerbated by climate change.
‘Climate change is not under control and there is enormous concern that we are not going to get it under control. Millions of people all around the world are already suffering greatly with devastating cyclones, floods, mudslides, heatwaves and droughts.
‘The Adani Carmichael mine, like Coal Seam Gas, is another real and symbolic milestone that we have to stop or we lose a vitally important opportunity to stabilise the planet. There is nothing more important than that at this point in our history. We must focus all our efforts of a sustainable planet. Climate change is a far more serious risk than losing a potential tenderer.’