Minister for Defence Industry and Leader of the House Christopher Pyne (left) and Liberal National Member for Dawson George Christensen in the House of Representatives at Parliament House in Canberra on Wednesday.
Minister for Defence Industry and Leader of the House Christopher Pyne (left) and Liberal National Member for Dawson George Christensen in the House of Representatives at Parliament House in Canberra on Wednesday. MICK TSIKAS

Christensen: Adani decision 'a win for common sense'

THE benefits we all enjoy as a result of mining far outweigh the increasingly tenuous protests mounted by any fringe group with an axe to grind.

Without mining, they would have neither the axe nor anything to grind it with.

The coal-rich Bowen Basin has been a major driver of the Mackay economy for many decades and has driven enormous economic growth and prosperity for Australia (including the axe-grinders who, predominantly live in capital cities, surrounded by the fruits of mining labour).

This week's dismissal of yet another green challenge to Adani's Carmichael coal project further confirms that the axe-grinders are running out of arguments against job creation.

If ideological axe-grinders were to successfully block export of Australian coal to India's existing and planned power stations, India would simply source lower grade coal from elsewhere (which they are already having to do).

The axe-grinders would achieve two things. Firstly, they would put thousands of north and central Queensland families out of work and they would deny billions of dollars in revenue to the Australian government.

Secondly, more carbon-dioxide emissions would be produced, which is an outcome most of the axe-grinders say they are trying to prevent.

History has taught us important lessons about technology. Human ingenuity is limitless and innovation is inevitable.

Regardless of any desire to change the world's climate, more efficient ways to produce energy will be devised.

Such technology has, in fact, already been invented. But those same ideologues forbid the mere mention of nuclear power - even thorium-based generators, which are theoretically far safer than their uranium counterparts.

New energy production technology will not come about by turning off the power we have now.

The Federal Court's good news this week should raise the spirits of a community experiencing difficult economic times.

The light at the end of the tunnel may well be a miner's lantern but jobs will not be limited to only those who wear fluoro shirts and steel-cap boots.

Mackay is an obvious front-runner to act as a service centre to the Carmichael mine, which will open up a range of opportunities for businesses with both the capability and experience to take up the role.

Adani committed to sourcing workers and services from the Mackay region in their original submission and have continued to reinforce that intention as recently as an address to potential suppliers at the Mackay Entertainment and Convention Centre earlier this year.

The Federal Court's decision is more than just a win for Adani.

It is a win for common sense, a win for people in Mackay who want jobs, and a win for people in India who want electricity.

It is also a win for Australians who will enjoy a higher standard of living and more sustainable delivery of services through a government collecting billions of dollars in royalties and other taxes that will be paid by Adani.


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