OPINION: We've all been sold down Adani river
WE'VE been sold down the river by both sides of politics.
Senator Matt Canavan's statement released on Facebook, clad in hi-vis mining clobber, expressing his disappointment at having to resign as Minister for Resources and Northern Australia following his own citizenship scandal, said it all.
"It has been such an honour to represent the Australian mining sector over the past year. It is an industry full of fine, hard-working and innovative people," his sentiments began.
Senator Canavan went on to wax lyrical about the sector, which he describes as a "uniquely Australian success story".
"From the small, gambling explorers and prospectors to the large, world-beating multi-nationals, the industry provides rich and diverse experiences that can take you to the smallest towns of outback Australia to the biggest cities in the world," he continued.
Now have I missed the memo, or are representatives elected by public vote meant to be representing the very people that elected them?
Sure, Senator Canavan, in his role as minister, head of those two portfolios, may have plenty of interaction and dealings with the mining and resources sector, but shouldn't he be engaging in those interactions as a representative of the people?
It would appear he's been nothing more than a conduit between the sector and the government, his vehement support of the Adani Carmichael coal mine making that pretty clear.
Queensland Labor has been no better. Once again the controversial mine project flared up, this time on Q & A.
The granting of critical infrastructure status for the mine by the Palaszczuk government remains a sore point for many.
Both major parties appear hell-bent on providing this mine with the smoothest saloon passage possible.
The much-touted mine was supposed to create 10,000 jobs, a figure which has been disputed in court.
The real figure is 1464 jobs per year directly from the mine. From there on it becomes speculative.
The magic 10,000 figure is supposed to include contributions from the mine, the rest of the almost-400km rail line, and the coal port at Abbot Point, as well as the 'indirect jobs' it will create.
These indirect jobs are a familiar tagline added to any project to garner support and enable pollies and supporters to spout the figure ad nauseam.
Question marks remain over Adani's possible pollution at the Abbot Point terminal and at least 19 banks have refused to fund the project.
But still our leaders pave the way for this project with an unlimited water licence granted and consideration given to the likes of a $1 billion public loan and even a $320 million royalty holiday.