People power: Protesters send message to stop coal mine from Lake Canobolas

The proposed Adani coal mine at Carmichael in Queensland may be 1500 kilometres north, but it didn’t stop 100 people at Lake Canobolas calling for it to be scrapped at Lake Canobolas.

The Orange branch of the Stop Adani organisation coordinated a protest on Saturday, joining 160 other locations nationwide as they rallied against the project.

The protesters were aiming to send a message to the Queensland and federal governments that they didn't want to construction of the mine to proceed.

Edlyn Luxford said the mine’s development “didn’t make sense” and risked contamination of the underground water supply used for food production in the region.

“Farmers use it to feed their stock, which feeds us,” she said.

“Then there’s the Great Barrier Reef. There’s far more jobs there in the tourism-related industries, and the coral is already being bleached,” she said.

“The extra use from coal shipping will magnify that damage.”

One of the people there on Saturday was Judy Davis who said a recent episode of the ABC’s 4 Corners convinced her to take action.

She said not even a hip replacement last week could stop her getting involved.

“They’ve just destroyed the environment over in India, and now [they’re] coming out to destroy our environment,” Ms Davis said.

Sydney residents Anna and Des Matekja have traveled extensively around Australia, including through the area where the Adani mine is set to be located.

They joined the Orange protest because they were “incensed” by the potential of environmental damage.

“Water is crucial for farmers and this mine has the potential to destroy the Great Artesian Basin,” Mr Matejka said.

Convenor of Stop Adani Orange Kate Hook said she wanted to see a better environment for her four children.

Ms Hook said a changing climate was the most destructive outcome of the mine, which wouldn’t necessarily be restricted to one location.

“We’ve just had the hottest September in NSW since records began and you can’t protect food producers from these kinds of extreme weather events,” she said.

“Coal-fired power is a dying industry. Solar and wind power clean energy are both cheaper and far less destructive to the climate.”


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