Queenslanders go to the polls on Saturday, 25 November, to elect a State Government.
Ostensibly, it is a contest between Annastacia Palaszczuk and Tim Nicholls as to who will be Premier of the Queensland Parliament,
It is absolutely not.
The battle is about whether or not one of the largest coal mines in the world will be opened in the Galilee Basin of Queensland and send its coal to India via the Barrier Reef.
This creates a complicated political situation as both Palaszczuk and Nicholls strongly back the opening of the mine, as does the likely holder of the balance of power, Pauline Hanson and her competitor for that role – Robbie Katter.
One would think that this would place the Adani mine in the safest of political positions, but it does not. It is an issue that will dominate the headlines until voting day as Adani protesters turn up to disrupt every political meeting, particularly those of the Premier.
Its chief beneficiary will be the Greens who have never before prospered in Queensland.
They will gain the balance of power and deny Hanson her dream.
In fact, it will change the state of Queensland politics for the next decade, if not permanently.
I am not a member of any political party and never have been, nor will be, and have a constant concern about the extreme positions that the Greens take in opposing every mine of any description anywhere with a determination that is disturbing, to say the least.
I strongly support mining of any mineral that the world can use responsibly, especially coal, so long as its miners invest heavily in clean coal technology, stop the contamination of coal dust and make sure that not one tiny bit of mine waste flows into lakes, creeks and rivers.
But, the Adani mine has problems far beyond those vital issues.
The coal in the Galilee Basin is the very worst in Australia, poor quality with high emissions. It needs to stay in the ground for another million years so it can mature into a responsibly useable commodity. It is utterly irresponsible to dig it up now.
Its quality is far below that of Surat Basin coal, yet Palaszczuk and Nicholls have both actively torpedoed any development of the Surat for fear that its success will stop the Adani mine from getting off the ground. The favours they have bestowed upon Adani exceed anything I have witnessed in my lifetime. It borders on a misuse of public funds.
However, the biggest concern is the Great Barrier Reef and the threat to its existence is the hottest issue of them all, particularly among voters under 35, but also of huge concern to many responsible oldies who regard it as one of the greatest wonders of the world that must be protected no matter what the price.
That both the Federal and State Governments have approved the building of the Adani Railway to the Port of Bowen in the centre of this priceless reef is as irresponsible as decision as I have ever seen.
If the Adani mine is to open, it must be forced to export through the Port of Gladstone which is at the bottom of the reef and a shorter distance away than Bowen. It needs a south eastern railway of only 170 kilometres to connect Adani to the Gladstone Rail system at Clermont at only one third of the cost of building the track to Bowen. That Adani is not doing this for purely commercial reasons severely tests their credibility as an astute company.
There is one final straw in the pile that places a huge question mark over the integrity of Adani. They are having immense problems raising capital for a mine which they constantly say is vital to providing power to 500 million Indians who live in villages with no power. Yet, neither the Government of India, nor its banks, will back Adani so the company seeks help from Australian Governments and our banks with little success. No politician in Australia has ever asked why.
Somewhere, there is a huge gap of credibility and integrity.
Be this as it may, Adani has given the Greens in Queensland the greatest political chance they will have for at least a century. They will deliver seats to the Greens on a platter.
Even the seat of Deputy Premier Jackie Trad will fall to them.
Beyond Adani, there is one more factor that will help the Greens.
At least a million voters in Queensland have had a massive gut full of politics and the political establishment. Their protest vote has to go somewhere and the Greens have a chance of picking up just as many of them as Hanson.
The revolution is on and election night in Queensland will be a bloodbath such as Australia has never before seen.
I am not personally recommending that anyone should vote Green.
I am simply making a political prediction of the inevitability of a Green avalanche that has been created irresponsibly by Palaszczuk, Nicholls, Hanson and Katter in backing Adani,
Indeed, they are guilty of appallingly bad political judgements.
Yours at large
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