Blocking Carmichael mine ‘dangerous for Australia’: Abbott
Tony Abbott believes Australia risks leaving millions of Indians in the dark if the controversial Carmichael coalmine doesn’t go ahead.
A clearly frustrated prime minister also warned of the domestic economic danger in blocking major projects such as the $16 billion Queensland mine.
Mr Abbott argued the coal extracted by mine operator Adani would help power the lives of 100 million Indians.
“Imagine what it’s like to live in the modern world with no electricity,” he told reporters in Cambridge, Tasmania on Friday.
Mr Abbott said the $21 billion project would create 10,000 jobs.
“If … projects like this can be endlessly frustrated, that’s dangerous for our country and it’s tragic for the wider world.”
Australian resources were invariably much better for the environment than the alternative, Mr Abbott said, adding such projects should be allowed to proceed.
Opposition Leader Bill Shorten said leaders should not be showing themselves up as smarter than business or the courts.
He said the Adani “mess” came about because the government rushed its approvals.
“Sometimes slow and steady and having respect for good processes delivers you actually the best commercial outcome,” Mr Shorten told reporters in Sydney.
The Minerals Council of Australia applauded Mr Abbott’s “compelling and timely” warning.
The only outcome of continual “green sabotage” was fewer jobs, lower real wages and lower living standards, it said.
Conservationists claimed a win after the Federal Court ordered the mine’s approval be set aside, when a legal loophole was discovered in Environment Minister Greg Hunt’s decision.
The Mackay Conservation Group said the government was not heeding the court’s decision nor respecting the independence of the judiciary.
“The government thinks it is above the law,” co-ordinator Ellen Roberts said in a statement.