Monday, May 01, 2017

Mt Barney Lodge has been helping to host a "mini-Galilee Basin coal mine sandpit” around the Scenic Rim recently for the littlies to help educate as many big people as possible about the impending “carbon bomb” that will be released if the proposed Adani coal mine goes ahead as planned….. Adani is hoping to kick-off later in 2017.

More details about the mine and it’s impact at the end of this blog, but we really want to share with you how we have been capturing everyone’s attention.

It is only natural when someone approaches you with a clipboard and a logo’d shirt that you want to walk as fast as possible in the other direction! BUT when your kids are settled into a mega sandpit, beating a quick exit is not an option 😊

The Adani coalmine is going to be the biggest in the southern hemisphere, so our mini- version is pretty huge as far as sandpits go! The kids have a fleet of Tonka trucks and diggers to excavate the mock Adani coal-pit; they build a $1 billion worth of wooden railway track to connect the mine to the port; watering cans and buckets are on hand to wash the coal and rocks (this water was unlimited and free just like the state governments offer); and they can make sandcastles at Abbot Point decorated with shells found on the blue carpet of the Great Barrier Reef.

By the end of the day of play, the mini-Great Barrier Reef had lost all its shells, the sand was flattened, the coal was spread over a huge area and split in numerous little accidents all over the place, and the unlimited water has made a sodden mess of all the surrounding grass - a glimpse into the future impact of the real Adani Mine … and someone had run off with the Monopoly money!!

But the kids have an absolute ball, and the parents have plenty of time to absorb the facts behind the State and Federal Government funding and support of this mine, and to regard if the Commonwealth Bank are saying "yes" to funding Adani by not yet saying "no" … in fact peoples reluctance to know about this issue turns into personal outrage when they learn the facts.

This is the perfect “learning through play" experience, where the serious issue of inappropriate coal mining is highlighted in the sandpit. Kids leave their small handprints and footprints in the sand, unlike the enormous environmental footprint that Adani plans to leave with their coal mine development. Kids are able to blissfully play in the sandpit knowing that the adults have got their future protected … or is it? Are we doing as much as we can to protect the earth they will inherit?

Why is Mt Barney Lodge bothering to get involved at all? As an Advanced Eco-tourism operator our business and use of the national park will be directly affected by accelerated climate change. We see the need to transition to a low carbon future with available renewable energy alternatives that are not being promoted quickly enough by the government. In fact they are doing the opposite, they are subsidising old-technology fossil fuel projects while stripping away funding for renewables. It is not environmentally, ecologically or morally right.

We are optimistic (expanding the example of the community success at protecting the Scenic Rim from Coal Seam Gas exploration and production in 2012), that a united and informed community can speak up and redirect government in making better decisions for our future.

Key concerns about the Adani coal mine project:

This will be the biggest coalmine in the southern hemisphere, forecast to export 60 million ton of coal per year. The carbon released from the burning of this coal will be so great, that it will not be possible to keep global warming below the 2 degrees.


Imagine an area 30 time the size of Brisbane CBD left polluted, degraded and lifeless. New report reveals Adani's Carmichael mine would leave more than 3,300 hectares completely un-rehabilitated.

19 banks, including 3 of our “big 4 banks” have ruled out funding the Adani project – it just doesn’t make good economic sense. However the Commonwealth bank has not ruled out providing a loan, in fact they recently loaned Adani $1+ million dollars to apply for a water licence.

The Qld State Government has approved the Adani water licence, and have allocated 60 years of FREE and UNLIMITED water to service the coalmine.

Despite Malcolm Turnbull saying last year that no public money would be spent on Adani, the Federal Government is now considering providing $1 billion dollars from the NAIF (Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility) as a concessional loan (as funding from 19 other banks has failed) to construct a rail link. This loan should not go to a project known to be environmentally destructive, and this limited public money (there is only $5 billion on offer) could be better spent in the public interest. The government’s own reports (e.g. Developing Northern Australia White Paper) suggests communications infrastructure, renewable energy projects, all-weather roads/bridges/related transport for tourism.

The impact of dredging, increased shipping, and environmental ‘spills” on the Great Barrier Reef will cause permanent damage, and affect the tourism industry that is dependent on it ($70 million). Accelerated climate change from burnt coal will also affect the health of the reef, and make bleaching frequency and severity more likely.

If you would like to find out more or support the #stopadani campaign of concerned community click here (

To find the next sandpit protest, check the Keep The Scenic Rim Scenic - group event page … and BYO toy trucks and dozers!!

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