As the pressure builds towards the federal election candidates are beginning to take their positions and Labor MP Justine Elliot recently came out opposing the controversial Adani Mine.
‘We’ve been asking for this for over two years,’ said Kathryn McConnochie, spokesperson for Stop Adani Byron Shire.
‘This is significant both nationally and locally. Justine has both publicly opposed and spoken out against the mine in parliament.’
Mrs Elliot had been presented with a petition of 3,904 signatures from her constituents opposing the mine just prior to parliament resuming.
Because the petitions were informally worded they couldn’t be presented through the normal channels and needed Mrs Elliot to present them on the floor of parliament as a document.
‘We had been told that if we sent the petitions to the prime minister then they would have no obligation to acknowledge them or respond to them.
‘We had been collecting signatures since July 2017 and we didn’t want them to end up in the bin,’ said Ms McConnochie.
Mrs Elliot was not obliged to present the petitions that her constituents had asked her to present to parliament on their behalf, but on Monday February 18 she not only presented them, she declared her personal opposition to the Adani mine.
‘Personally I’m opposed to the Adani coal mine going ahead and share the community’s concerns about the potential environmental harm that could follow to the Great Barrier Reef and other areas,’ said Mrs Elliot.
In the lead up to the federal election, the #StopAdani movement is calling on both major parties to commit to stop the mine.
‘We have had thousands of conversations with people across the region and have found that overwhelmingly our community want this dangerous project stopped,’said Ms McConnochie.
‘It’s time for Labor to stop sitting on the fence and commit to stopping this catastrophic mine that will open up the Galilee Basin, one of the largest coal reserves left on earth.’
‘To protect the climate, our groundwater and the Great Barrier Reef for future generations we must keep Galilee basin coal in the ground,’ Ms McConnochie said.
Crossing the floor
Responding to Echonetdaily’s question on whether Ms Elliot ‘would she cross the floor’ and oppose the Adani coal mine if a future vote to support the came from Labor she responded, ‘I don’t take anything for granted and I don’t pre-empt the outcome of any elections or speculate about any potential motions that may be before any future parliaments.’