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August 4, 2021

The Stop Adani convoy so far – on to Canberra

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Up to 5,000 people gathered at the Mullumbimby Showgrounds on Easter Sunday to welcome the Bob Brown convoy and protest against the Adani coal mine. Photo Jeff Dawson.

On Wednesday April 17, Bob Brown and a few hundred of his closest friends, began a journey from Hobart to the Gallilee Basin in Queensland, to highlight the devastation that will be caused if the Adani Carmichal Mine goes ahead.

‘Our plans are well advanced for this public showdown with the coal mining industry and its political backers,’ said Brown before he left his home in Tasmania. ‘In the run-up to the federal election, the global mining giant looks set to start its colossal Carmichael coal mine in central Queensland.

‘We look forward to people joining us. Almost 2000 have inquired about joining the convoy.

‘We are a celebration in motion. It is a community commitment – an act of defiance – for the future of our planet. A peaceful protest against Gautam Adani’s mine, which his operatives say will be under way soon.’

The group of beginners left Hobart for Devonport, then Melbourne for a rally on Parliament Lawns.

As the convoy came off the Spirit of Tasmania for the rally in Melbourne, Brown said that from the outset that the convoy, involving hundreds of vehicles and thousands of people, was about the May 18 election being a national referendum on the climate emergency and Adani.

He said it was about fossil fuels and the massive impact on Australia’s economy, employment and environment of burning more coal.

‘Adani is the litmus test and polls show a big majority of Australians don’t want it,’ Brown said.

The Melbourne rally featured speakers advocating renewables and electric vehicles for a world in which, it is estimated, 150,000 people died last year from the impact of global warming due to burning coal and other fossil fuels.

From Melbourne the growing group visited Albury-Wodonga before a rally in Sydney on April 20.

With flags flying, the cavalcade gave colour and contention to Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s press conference in Parramatta.

The convoy, now 200 cars, including a dozen electric cars, left a rally of nearly 1000 people in Parramatta Park to drive north, passing Morrison’s conference outside Westmead Hospital. Mr Morrison was diverted by cries of ‘Stop Adani’ as the convoy slowly passed.

At the rally an Aboriginal leader from the Adani mine site region in central Queensland, Adrian Burragubba, said he, his father, and grandfather were born at Clermont where the convoy arrives next week. He described the Adani mining company as ‘thieves’.

The convoy including doctors, farmers, and many professional workers, was also cheered on by roadside gatherings near Newcastle and Taree.

Next was the north coast on Easter Sunday with stops in Coffs Harbour and Mullumbimby on the way to Brisbane.

The Bob Brown Foundation were stunned and delighted by the massive crowd in Mullum.

‘This is the biggest turn out anywhere in Australia,’ Brown said.

From there it was a trip across the border into Queensland.

On April 22 the foundation sent out a press release about some of the media reporting of the convoy and the Adani mine itself.

‘Whilst this is a side issue to the need for global action to secure the planet’s future well being, the corrupting role a section of the fourth estate’s Murdoch media in our democracy is here addressed,’ Brown said.

Murdoch newspapers throughout Queensland, including Brisbane’s Courier-Mail, all ran the same article by journalist Renee Viellaris.

Ms Viellaris wrote a very disparaging description of the convoy including that participants were ‘blow-ins’.

‘As ever, I absolutely repudiate offensive comments such as those headlined in today’s Murdoch press,’ said Brown.

‘Offensive comments are taken down by our foundation just as they are taken down off Murdoch media sites.

‘Renee Viellaris, who I met in person outside News Ltd in Brisbane last night before her deadline, was told I did not accept such comments and that they are taken down.

‘I asked Ms Viellaris if the Courier Mail received and took down such offensive commentary. Contrary to her own demands of others, she refused to answer. Double standards, Ms Viellaris,’ Bob Brown said

‘The hate media works by attacking those it disagrees with when it cannot fairly meet their point of view, especially where ethics like those of the worsening global climate emergency, are involved. Our convoy is committed to lawful and peaceful process. Conversely, this opinionated reportage aims to raise anger rather than promote civil discussion.

‘I hold the Murdoch media responsible for any harmful outcome of this reportage,’ Brown concluded.

After a 4,000-strong rally in Brisbane, Brown and the convoy visited Harvey Bay.

The convoy passed through Rockhampton on the 25th  and settled for the evening with 600 people, including hundreds of locals at Emu Park in a lantern parade for the Great Barrier Reef.

Some 100 people put the case for coal. Bob Brown fielded hecklers, telling one that if the heckler believed sea-levels had not risen 20cm in the last century, he (Brown) believed the Earth is flat. LNP MP Michelle Landry, who had promoted the counter protest, failed to turn up.

‘That Ms Landry didn’t come is a cameo of the larger picture: the Morrison government has no clue how to tackle the climate emergency impacting the reef, the Murray Darling basin and the future of this region,’ said Brown.

The destination in the Gallille area was reached on April 28 with a huge rally held at Clermont where the Stop Adani convoyists were welcomed in Wangan and Jagalingou Country.

Brown said that rather than ‘Adani country’ or ‘coal country’ the convoy recognised it as Wangan and Jagalingou country and he expressed wonder at the spectacular volcanic cones which visitors pass through on the way to Clermont.

Brown said that a number of Clermont business owners had expressed regret at the hostility the convoy received the previous day when cars were stoned, and an older women travelling alone, along with young families in cars, were abused and threatened and had flags ripped from their vehicles. Brown praised the Queensland Police for keeping the peace in trying conditions.

‘This is about every Australian child’s future security in a rapidly heating planet,’ Brown said.

‘You can back your children or you can back Gautam Adani’s mine but you can’t have both’ he said.

Tensions mounted between opposing ideas in Clermont over the weekend – pro-Adani violence appalled other locals and failed to halt the convoy’s progress.

‘Everyone is concerned for our friend knocked down by the out-of-control horse,’ said Brown.

‘We hope she has a speedy recovery. The incident came after a much-publicised publican friend of Matt Canavan was refused entry to the Wangan and Jangilingou Council’s Karmoo Dreaming celebration which the convoy was enjoying at the Clermont Showground.

‘The horse rider charged between the crowd and the stage where Neil Murray was singing. Children had been dancing in that area.

Both the publican and Minister Canavan have verbally abused the convoy people.

A witness said a second group of pro-Adani cars at the gate cheered the horse rider as he charged back out after the woman was knocked down in the arena.

‘There is a divide between supporters of coal and renewables,’ said Brown afterwards today in Rockhampton.

‘There is a similar divide between the nastiness and peacefulness of putting the cases for and against.

‘The fact is that coal for power is on its way out and, as with whaling, those who want to keep making money the wrong way, no matter how much the public disapproves, get angry. History is not on their side.’

From the Gallile, the convoy will now visit Toowoomba, Armidale, Bathurst and Orange, and drive in Canberra on May 4 for a Rally for Climate on Sunday May 5.

Fo more details, visit the Bob Brown Foundation website.


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15 COMMENTS

  1. Thank you for this article, Eve.

    I had to work that Sunday, when they came to Mullumbimby. But most people I spoked too, that attended the event felt strongly encouraged about the event, and didn’t mind at all to be stuck in traffic in support of the cause.
    Once more Bob Brown manages to alert so many people’s will to do the right thing for our environment.
    Fingers crossed now for a good outcome.

  2. Bob Brown’s way of dealing with the Murdoch Media just
    shows how justice, knowledge & empowered perception
    can cross all lines of lies & oppositions inside & outside
    of parliament. Do yourself a favour. Step up to the plate
    with him.

  3. Shame on Clive Palmer for supporting the pro Adani coal mine fraternity at Clermont. This was a gross conflict of interest. Clive Palmer bought Waratah Coal from Peter Lynch a few years ago, and Waratah Coal’s patch is up there next to Adani. Not only that, Gina Hancock’s Hancock Prospecting also has a significant size patch in the same area.

    If this Adani mine goes ahead, there will be an absolutely huge mega coal mine in the Galilee Basin sucking water out of the Great Artesian Basin. Water will be a scarce commodity and stock will be unable to be run in the area for miles around. The hotels won’t have water for cooking or cleaning, and showers will be non-existent for travellers, tourists and locals

    Shame on Pauline Hanson too, who is using it as a political platform to try and secure votes for her One Nation Party.

    It just goes to show how Australia’s politicians are working for themselves instead of the good of the community.

    Forget the jobs. Mines use robots nowadays. Stop Adani at all costs.

    And here’s a question to Mr Palmer – who paid for all the Pro Coal signage? Was it you?

  4. Great work to Bob BROWN & STOP adani’ s Convoy I will be there in Canberra.
    Adani has been proven a cheat & a thief, India has court actions against his companies for environmental and health breaches. CLEAN Water is PRECIOUS!!! TO EVERYONE.
    ALL the fresh water on Fraser Island (the largest sand Island in the world!!) comes from this natural basin.eovery
    STOP Adani. for everyones FUTURE..

  5. Great work to Bob BROWN & STOP adani’ s Convoy I will be there in Canberra.
    Adani has been proven a cheat & a thief, India has court actions against his companies for environmental and health breaches. CLEAN Water is PRECIOUS TO EVERYONE!!!.
    ALL the fresh water on Fraser Island (the largest sand Island in the world!!) comes from this natural basin.
    STOP Adani. for everyone’s FUTURE..
    We will be left with an expensive disaster. Australia’s Future should be our politician’s greatest concern, not greed.

  6. Go easy, Mark. I looked into the mirror & – nope! there was no
    inner-city-fringe-dweller there.

  7. Whinge send moan about fossil fuels etc…yet drive up and down the country in vehicles burning up fuel causing green house emissions…little bit hypocritical.

  8. Bob Brown’s hypocrisy at its best..drives up and down the country in fossil fuel burning vehicles..
    So glad the Greens have no real political say.

  9. Oh dear! The Giddy Aunt wants to know what
    the horseradish coloured party-people have
    against The Greens. Mind you, the Aunt’s a
    mite colour blind & doesn’t hold gripes for
    long. As well, she’s a fine horsewoman &
    her seat can’t be disputed. I reckon I’ll
    follow in her wake.

  10. I feel so proud that BOB BROWN and his Foundation and supporters have taken a stand against Adani’s destructive vision for the Galilee Basin and against our present government. They have forged their way from Hobart to towns in Queensland and NSW then onto Canberra in protest of Adani’s coal mine, educating many along the way of the calamity and devestation which will occur if the coal mine goes ahead…thank you Bob for stepping in….see you in Canberra.

  11. The Greens have heaps of solutions regarding employment,
    manufacturing, small to large business opportunities, &
    enough grunt to hold the 2 major runners to keep their
    election promises on all social issues – hospitals, wages,
    aged & home care etc., etc.,

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