A group dressed as bleached coral mourned the loss of half of the Great Barrier Reef; a blue group represented the threat to groundwater from the Adani mine; another group struggled to keep afloat in a rising tide; and a last group of children and families called for urgent climate action for our future. We sat in Hartsuyker's office, singing and delivering messages on gifts of coal (which his office staff refused to accept), waiting to be granted a meeting time with our MP.
Office staff chose to call the police and have us removed rather than meeting this simple request. Six people were arrested, four released without charge, two women (a 52 year old school teacher and a 70 year old grandmother) were fined. Why wouldn't Hartsuyker just talk to us rather than have his constituents arrested? Why is Hartsuyker hiding behind arbitrary "office procedures" and avoiding telling us where he stand on Adani, the $1billion public loan, and action for our reef and climate?
This is a climate emergency and we will keep protesting until the Adani mine proposal is dropped and we get the real climate action we need!
A huge thank you to everyone who came along today and much respect for the commitment of those who were arrested! Stay tuned for details of a crowdfunding campaign to pay the fines soon.
Links to some media coverage:
Coffs Coast Advocate here and here
Dear Mr Hartsuyker,
Just last Friday, the Turnbull Government re-affirmed its commitment to the Paris Climate Agreement. This agreement to cut emissions contains the aspirational target of limiting global warming to 1.5C – a limit which we are fast approaching, yet must stick to if we are to maintain a safe climate capable of supporting life as we know it.
The urgency of action on climate change has been demonstrated in the past few weeks, with reports that half of The Great Barrier Reef may be dead already due to two consecutive year of bleaching. This is a tragedy.
We’ve also just seen revised sea level rise projections which triple previous worst case scenarios, putting so much of our beautiful piece of the coast (as well as major world cities) at risk of inundation within our children’s lifetime. The consequences are just too serious to take the chance of burning more coal.
Yet in these same few weeks, we have seen the Turnbull Government advocating for more coal, supporting massive public subsidies for coal – both by making Clean Energy Finance Corporation funding available for “clean” coal (there is no such thing!), and by allowing a taxpayer funded concessional loan for a rail line to open the Galilee Basis for massive new coal mines, particularly the Adani Carmichael mine. If this mine goes ahead, it will push us over the edge to climate catastrophe.
Plainly, the Government cannot support both new coal and the Paris Agreement. Where do you stand?
If climate catastrophe is not enough for you, there are other concerns with the Adani mine: What about the direct health impacts of coal air pollution? What about the billions of litres of precious groundwater that this mine will take for free, threatening farmers and ecosystems? What about the ancestral lands and culture of the traditional owners? What about Adani’s questionable history of past operations damaging communities and the environment?
Mr Hartsuyker, we come here today as your constituents – we are mothers, fathers, grandparents, school teachers, farmers, taxpayers and members of your community. We have taken the time to come to your office today to make our voices heard on this, the most important issue of our time. This is where we must draw a line in the sand. We simply cannot keep digging up coal and fuelling dangerous climate change.
Today, on World Environment Day, we are here to ask you, as our Parliamentary Representative, to stand up for the reef, for our coast and for our children’s future. We are asking you to publicly voice your opposition to the publicly-funded $1billion loan for the railway for the Adani coal mine. We ask you to state this message clearly in your Party room and push for the Government to mandate that NAIF grants cannot go to fossil fuel projects.
Your time in discussing these important issues would be appreciated. We request a meeting to discuss this as soon as possible.
Coffs Coast Climate Action Group