The Galilee Basin; Part One

The Galilee Basin, found in deep QLD, is massive. It has coal in it. Government wants to make coal mining happen there. In order to make coal mining happen there, they need to develop a port and a rail way to the port from the mine. Government wants to help an Indian company, Adani, develop a rail system to make the mining happen. Stuff started happening in 2014, and now, three years later, with the Great Barrier Reef that much closer to certain death, the mine and the port and the rail way are that much closer to being a reality. there have been ongoing legal hurdles, environmental and native title, hurdles strengthened by citizens who seek to protect the land, and the water that lays beneath it.

Location of the Galilee Basin, wikimedia commons.

Location of the Galilee Basin, wikimedia commons.

ABC NEWS Lateline - Barnaby Joyce interviewed by Jeremy Fernandez

ABC NEWS Lateline - Barnaby Joyce interviewed by Jeremy Fernandez



JEREMY FERNANDEZ:         On the matter of the Adani coal railway: is the nation really in such desperate economic circumstances that taxpayers need to put a $900 million loan on the table for a foreign company to build a coal railway?

BARNABY JOYCE:                 OK. First of all, it's a loan. That means you get paid back. And actually, we hope to make money on the loan.
Secondly, it gives us that tipping-point capacity to develop the Galilee Basin. We make money in this nation by the stuff we put on a boat: coal, iron ore, cotton, beef, sheep, grain.

[but what if it doesn’t get paid back? what if the project is a bust? or is it an investment? why aren’t you calling it an investment if you’re planning on getting money back from it?

The Australian Conservation Foundation has had legal advice: the people who approve said-loan, the Northern Australian Infrastructure Facility, could face legal action, could be found in breach of their duties if they don’t consider climate change when Considering Financial Risks of the Mine, I wonder if the directors of the NAIF are climate change deniers, there’s gotta be at least one of those guys there right, especially if they’re pro-coal mine development, or are there climate change Acceptors who are pro-coal mine development? people talk about “clean coal", and wouldn’t ya know it, some people BELIEVE in it.

From: Clean coal explained: Why emissions reductions from coal remain a pipe dream
“It works by forcing the exhaust from a coal-fired power plant through a liquid solvent that absorbs the carbon dioxide, heating the solvent to liberate the gas, then compressing it and sending it away for storage underground.
Great in principle, but the technology faces big hurdles in practice.
One is the huge cost and logistical challenge of transporting all the captured carbon dioxide and burying it.
It would require a vast network of pipelines and storage sites.”

doesn't seem very sustainable. also, the thing that really concerns me is the thing that happens to get the coal out of the ground. tearing up ancient landscapes. tearing up ecosystems. continuing deep cycles of environmental, cultural and social abuse through NOT LEARNING A DAMN THING from history or the voices of people who have dedicated their lives to learning about such things, like scientists, for example.


BARNABY JOYCE:                …of course there's going to be environmental controls on how you do it. But if you use this sort of blinkered mechanism to say, "Well, we're just not going to export product anymore, especially the one that everybody wants to buy: coal for India, so poor people can turn on lights like we have lights." I mean, surely we...

JEREMY FERNANDEZ:         India is aiming to buy less coal. They're aiming to be coal-free by 2050. This is...

BARNABY JOYCE:                Good luck to them. Good luck to them and God bless them. But in the meantime, they want to buy coal. And really, why are they buying coal? It's not because they want to buy coal. They're buying power. They're buying power because they've got hundreds of millions of people who, I think, have a right to turn on a light like we have a right to turn on a light.

[bit rude, Barnaby, having your One God bless them when you’re very aware that most Indians have Dharmic faiths. Also, there are other ways to power lights. It’s not just coal barnaby. It doesn’t have to be just coal.]


BARNABY JOYCE:                We make money in this nation by the stuff we put on a boat: coal, iron ore, cotton, beef, sheep, grain.
Now, we send that off in one direction and back in the other direction comes your terms of trade: everything you're wearing, everything your listeners - your listeners are watching TVs from overseas; they've probably cooked on a stove from overseas. They're driving a car from overseas.
Well, somebody somewhere has got to be putting something on a boat and sending it in the other direction. And this allows us to do it.
Now, if we stand in front of it and say, "Oh, well, I just don't believe in coal mining anymore or the money you make from it," you're a fool because you'll go broke.

[bit rude, Barnaby, assuming that everyone buys things or wants from overseas, also rude to assume that your audience is a bunch of idiots who don’t understand how global shipping economy works I mean maybe a bunch of people who voted your government in didn’t quite understand the global shipping industry because if they did they probz wouldn’t have voted for free market capitalists like yrselvzz to rule over them with a greedy, clammy, coal-smudged fists but then also maybe they just don’t care, maybe they actually don’t care about changing things for the better because it’s Too Hard or it’s Too Late.
what about the people who don’t buy things over overseas and buy things from Australia or want to buy things from Australia but can’t afford to because global shipping economy has created a situation where things from overseas can be more affordable than local produce, don’t you think that’s weird, Barnaby, weird and kind of shit for local economies, Barnaby, do you, do you think it’s a bit shitty? Don’t you think we should look at that? Or do you just want to keep those ships coming and going because it reminds you of being in a bath tub and playing choo-choo tug-boats with yr mamma


JEREMY FERNANDEZ:         I mean, we're talking about 1,500 jobs which is what Adani says under oath: 1,500 jobs. Is that a fair exchange for the contamination of water...

BARNABY JOYCE:                Well, I don't think that. I...

JEREMY FERNANDEZ:         ...for the risks to the Great Barrier Reef?

BARNABY JOYCE:                Well, first of all I think there's indirectly up to 10,000 jobs and many more after that. Secondly, it allows others companies to come into that precinct and also develop coal mines.

[Bruce Currie, farm man from QLD, went to India on an Adani fact finding mission: he found stories of environmental disregard at previous Adani run projects and sites. Illegal land seizing. Fishing catch reduced by 90% in a place where Adani built a port, what use is a job building said port when it’s done and there is no more job and suddenly you can’t even catch fish to feed your family. Worse poverty. Even worse. Coal dust on crops. That’s disgusting. Fucking polluted ground water. The last companies you’re going to trust with environmental issues are the ones that profit from completely ignoring environmental issues.]


BARNABY JOYCE:                And you know, this sort of - This is conceit. This is the sort of conceit where we say, "Oh well, we're all right, Jack and you can just stay poor and cold or poor and hot or just poor and miserable." I don't buy that argument.

[I don’t think many people would argue for keeping people poor and cold or poor and hot or poor and miserable, only callous arseholes would even think of such a thing, what kind of callous arseholes are giving those arguments to you Barnaby they sound horrible. I think most people who don't want the coal mine would be arguing that we can do other things to help alleviate the poverty you’re kind of half-describing without any actual sense of humanity or descriptive recognition of real struggles. Who are you talking about? The poor in india or the poor in Australia? it's hard to tell and you are confusing because your mind works so differently to mine, we seem to care about very different things and your values kind of upset me barnaby]

And the second thing I don't buy is: you've got to actually turn a dollar. If you want to pay for your pensions, if you want to pay for your defence force, if you want to pay for your hospitals, your roads, your school teachers, et cetera, we have got to actually make a buck. And the way we make a buck predominantly in this nation is things we put on a boat. And they're mining products and agricultural products, some services.
But if we start closing our eyes to that and start living in this naive world where you think, "Oh well, we just don't need to do that anymore," well, you'll pay for it because you just won't make the money to be able to pay for all the things that you think are your birthright, such as pensions.

[Yes there are some communities and families and individuals in QLD who may benefit in the short term from this, the short term, maybe a generation if we’re very lucky will benefit from coal mines economically but what about when they empty, when the market grinds to a halt because all those forward thinking nations have hit their energy sustainability targets, the renewables are in mass use, and no one needs your dirty coal? do you even pay attention to what’s going on in the rest of the world? you’ll be dead by then so you don’t care? green money can pay for the pensions too barnaby, we don't have to put things for sale on a boat barnaby, there have to be other ways we can try, why not try something new that might be safer and healthier and more sustainable, why not try?]


This shit only gets worse when you look at the Wangan and Jagalingou Native Title / Land Use Agreement stuff surrounding this mine. These things will be covered and explained next week in Part 2. 

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