A FUTURE WITHOUT ADANI

We are led to believe that the economic future of North Queensland is utterly dependent upon the opening of the Adani Mine in the Galilee Basin. Without it, we are told that there will be massive unemployment and a general economic downturn.

Indeed, it is of such enormity that an election in Melbourne for the Seat of Batman in the Federal Parliament will be decided on the issue, even though the electorate and the mine are thousands of kilometres apart.

This nonsense, spread by politicians, free market advocates, climate change deniers and general fear mongers, badly fails the pub test.

The stark fact is that development of the North and the Inland has never been backed by either serious political will or genuine investment, nor has a well researched long term plan of sustainable development for the region ever been prepared, let alone implemented.

The Adani mine was chosen as a quick fix for years of neglect and it was based on series of appalling fabrications. Continue reading “A FUTURE WITHOUT ADANI”

The Quest for Energy will dominate.

The Quest for Energy will dominate the politics of the future

The provision of energy to meet the growing needs of billions of people worldwide is an enormous economic challenge for every nation on earth. Half of the world does not have any form of power in their homes right now, and there is insufficient to meet the ever expanding needs of industry and transport.

The debate on the future of energy is about the use and abuse of oil, gas, coal, nuclear, wind, solar, hydro, tides, ethanol, etc — which is best, cheapest, more environmentally friendly, available and sustainable — and what influence does political and financial power have on all of them.

Have just read “The Quest” by Harvard Professor Daniel Yergin — an excellent analysis of the global energy situation that covers all of the above. Well written, reads like a thriller. It caused me to form the view that it is not possible to understand world economics without having a basic grasp of the impact of energy on the aspirations of humanity.

Is there a prosperous future for the Australian Bush?

Have we killed the legacy of John Flynn?

Out where the sun goes down, the people of the bush call him “Flynn of the Inland”. He was the man who, in the first half of the Twentieth Century, made a valiant attempt to create a “Mantle of Safety” across the remoteness of the continent by building hospitals and hostels in places like Birdsville, Innamincka, Oodnadatta and Halls Creek, creating the Pedal Radio and establishing the Flying Doctor Service so that ordinary Australians could make a new life in the Outback and feel secure.

He also enlisted a team of Padres who ministered to people in areas covering countless square miles — marrying, baptising, counseling and burying them — no matter what their faith or lack of it. By any standards, his life’s work was a notable achievement which will be honoured by historians for generations to come.

Now, sixty years after his death, we should be honest enough to admit that we have not built on the solid foundation created by his extraordinary endeavours. Continue reading “Is there a prosperous future for the Australian Bush?”