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Chappells among 90 prominent Australians ask Adani to abandon Carmichael coal project


An Australian group of green activists, who came from Queensland to Ahmedabad, delivered an “open letter” to the office of Gautam Adani to abandon  A$16.5-billion Carmichael coal project to be developed there by the Adani Group. 

Eminent Australians who have signed the open letter include senior business leaders, sporting legends, Australians of the Year, authors, musicians, scientists, economists, artists and community leaders. Names include Ian and Greg Chappell, Missy Higgins, Tim Winton, Peter Garrett AM and businessmen Mark Burrows, John Mullen and Mark Joiner.

Here is the Open Letter:

Mr Gautam Adani
Chair, Adani Group
Adani House, NR Mithakhali SIX Roads, Navrangpura, Ahmedabad, Gujarat 380009, India
16 March 2017

Dear Mr Adani,
We are writing to respectfully ask you to abandon the Adani Group’s proposal to dig the
Carmichael coal mine in Queensland’s Galilee Basin.
We would like to put to you three reasons why this mine should never go ahead.
One, the Carmichael mine would be the biggest coal mine ever dug in Australia. Once its coal
is burnt, it will contribute more climate-changing pollution to the atmosphere than the entire
country of New Zealand does every year. Last year record-breaking ocean temperatures
triggered a devastating coral bleaching event on the Great Barrier Reef – a natural wonder
that visitors from every nation love. Sadly, another bleaching event is currently underway for
an unprecedented second consecutive year. Pollution from burning coal is the single biggest
driver of global warming, threatening life in Australia, India and all over the world.
Two, coal is a killer. Coal is the biggest single cause of air pollution in Australia. Air pollution
kills an estimated 3 million people globally each year. Coal burning is a key contributor. Black
lung disease has re-emerged in Queensland, afflicting 19 coal mine workers. Last month The
Lancet, one of the world’s leading medical journals, published a report that described your
company’s Carmichael mine proposal as a “public health disaster”.
Three, this mine proposal does not have wide public support in Australia and does not
have the support of the Traditional Owners of the land where the mine would be dug. There
are concerns about the impact the mine will have on groundwater resources and on nearby
farmers who rely on this water for their livelihoods. Increasingly, Australians are deeply
worried about how climate change is affecting our country through worse heatwaves,
bushfires and reef bleaching. Australians know coal is driving global warming. And they
definitely don’t want the publicly funded Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility to finance a
railway line to service the Carmichael mine. A recent poll showed 75% of Australians would
prefer the funding went towards renewable energy, not infrastructure for coal companies.

True, the Queensland and federal governments are bending over backwards to fast-track this
mine. True, they have changed water laws, stripped farmers of appeal rights, are attempting
to change native title laws and have earmarked $1 billion of public money to build the rail
But we urge you to think about global warming and public health and listen to the wishes of
the people.
It would be a great shame if this one project were to damage the image of India in Australia.
We understand the Adani Group has not made a final investment decision on the Carmichael
coal mine. We strongly urge you to decide to abandon this project.
We the undersigned – and we believe all Australians – would support and welcome moves by
your company to invest further in renewable energy in Australia.


Geoffrey Cousins AM Business and community leader
Dr Lindsay Simpson Great Barrier Reef tourism operator
Bruce Currie Queensland farmer
Imogen Zethoven AO Australian Marine Conservation Society
Ian Chappell Former Captain of the Australian Cricket Team
Greg Chappell Former Captain of the Australian Cricket Team
Bob Brown Former Australian Senator
Christine Milne Former Australian Senator
Tim Winton Award winning author
David Williamson AO Playwright and screenwriter
Kristin Williamson Author and journalist
Richard Flanagan Award winning author
John Mullen Business leader
Simon McKeon 2011 Australian of the Year
Indira Naidoo Author and TV presenter
Ian Dunlop Former Chair, Australian Coal Association
John Thwaites Former Deputy Premier Victoria
Ken Peters Dodd Birriah Widi Traditional Owner
Midnight Oil Australian rock band
Peter Garrett AM Musician, environmentalist and former politician
Rob Hirst Musician
Naomi Klein Author
An Open Letter to
Mr Gautam Adani
Chair, Adani Group
Ben Elton Comedian and author
Aunty Carol Prior Juru Traditional Owner
Mark Burrows Investment banker
David Paradice Paradice Investment Management Pty Ltd
Professor Tim Flannery Councillor Climate Council and 2007 Australian of the Year
Geraldine Brooks AO Pulitzer prize winning author
Missy Higgins Australian singer, songwriter
Helen Garner Writer
Renata Kaldor AO Business and community leader
Robyn Nevin AM Actress and Former CEO, Queensland Theatre Company, Sydney Theatre
Michael Dillon AM Cinematographer and documentary maker
Robin de Crespigny Author and filmmaker
Mark Joiner Business leader
Robert Purves AM Purves Environmental Fund
John Butler Musician
Dr Anne Poelina Nyikina Traditional Custodian
David Fisher Producer, The Science Show ABCRN
Professor Carmen Lawrence President, Conservation Council of Western Australia
Distinguished Professor Terry Hughes FAA Reef scientist
Keith Tuffley CEO, The B Team
Dr Nigel Westlake Composer
Edmund Capon Former Director, Art Gallery of New South Wales
Bernard Fanning Musician
Darleen Bungey Writer
Professor Robert Costanza Chair of Public Policy, Australian National University
Professor Fiona Stanley AC, FAA, FASSA Distinguished Research Professor University of
Western Australia, Vice-Chancellor's Fellow University of Melbourne, 2003 Australian of the
Garry Shead Artist
Virginia Duigan Author and screenwriter
Sally Morrison Biographer and fiction writer
Janet Laurence Artist
Ben Quilty Artist, activist, Trustee of Art Gallery of New South Wales and Honorary Doctorate
Western Sydney University
Andrew Davies Publisher and musician
Anne Manne Writer
Peter Kingston Artist
An Open Letter to
Mr Gautam Adani
Chair, Adani Group
Richard Walsh Publisher and social commentator
Lea Ferris Caring citizen
Ash Grunwald Musician
Tim Hollo Musician and CEO, Green Music Australia
Graeme Wood Entrepreneur, philanthropist and environmentalist
Aunty Beryl Carmichael Nyampa Elder and author
Arnold Zable Author, novelist and human rights advocate
Professor Lesley Hughes Councillor Climate Council
Andrew Stock Councillor Climate Council
Professor David Karoly IPCC Lead Author
Bill McKibben Author and Co-founder, 350.org
May Boeve Co-founder and Executive Director, 350.org
Koreti Tiurnalu Pacific Coordinator, 350.org
Blair Palese CEO, 350.org Australia
Dr Jonathan King OA AA Best-selling, award-winning author and historian
Ben Oquist Executive Director, The Australia Institute
Joanna Weston Australian athlete and environmentalist
Sheila Nguyen Executive Director, Sports Environmental Alliance (SEA)
Mike Sheahan Australian journalist, #SEA Ambassador
Jeff McMullen Journalist, author and film maker
Ross Tzannes AM Lawyer and community leader
Toby Barber Renewable Energy Engineer
David Ritter CEO, Greenpeace Australia Pacific
Kirsty Albion Director, Australian Youth Climate Coalition
Amanda McKenzie CEO, Climate Council
Kelly O'Shanassy CEO, Australian Conservation Foundation
Paul Oosting National Director, Getup!
Archie Law Executive Director, ActionAid Australia
Claire O'Rourke National Director, Solar Citizens
Cam Walker Campaign Coordinator, Friends of the Earth
Kate Smolski CEO, Nature Conservation Council of New South Wales
Craig Wilkins Chief Executive, Conservation Council of South Australia
Shar Molloy Director, Environment Centre Northern Territory
Mark Wakeham CEO, Environment Victoria
Darren Kindleysides Director, Australian Marine Conservation Society


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