Hogsback and curse of Adani

<i>HOGSBACK</i> is not superstitious but given the body count after the recent citizenship crisis in the Australian parliament he is beginning to think there is an Adani curse.

Lou Caruana
Hogsback and curse of Adani

Two of the biggest participants in the Adani debate – Federal Minister for Resources Matt Canavan and Queensland Greens Senator Larissa Waters – have fallen victim of this dreaded curse.

The two were once at constant loggerheads over the benefits of Adani’s proposed $16.5 billion Carmichael coal mine and infrastructure project in Queensland’s Galilee Basin. However, within days of each other they had to bizarrely relinquish their positions over their apparent failure to ensure they were not dual citizens of other countries.    

The plain-speaking north Queenslander Canavan apparently had a dual citizenship conferred on him by his mother without his knowledge 10 years ago. 

While the matter is being referred to the High Court, Canavan has stepped aside from his portfolio.

Depending on the decision of the High Court he may still return as Resources Minister.   

Canavan has been outspoken on promoting the development of major resources projects such as the Carmichael mine. He argued that the project would create desperately needed employment, especially in the north of Queensland where the economy was suffering because of a long running drought.

One of the Adani project’s fiercest critics, Waters, was forced to resign last month when it was revealed she also was a citizen of Canada.

She claimed that allowing the Carmichael mine to go ahead would contribute to global warming which would endanger the coral in the Great Barrier Reef.     

Now, One Nation senator Malcolm Roberts is heading to the High Court to prove that he is not British but in fact Australian.  

Roberts slammed a bill proposed by the Greens to stop Adani building the Carmichael mine and then decided to add that black lung was "not a problem when it is managed properly”.

Such high drama and high emotion. The seemingly straightforward task of getting a major coal mining project off the ground has morphed into a fantastical tale of martyrs and villains, and, it would appear, witch doctors as well.  

Hogsback is not suggesting that one of the protagonists in this soap opera has devised a curse that has gone horribly wrong.

However, something seems to be rotten in Denmark, if not Canberra, these days when every twist and turn of this saga is played out like a Shakespearean tragedy.

Things would be much better if mines got approved on the basis of environmental impact statements and then the curtains came down to everyone’s applause.   


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