Protesting for fun and profit

HOGSBACK reckons the protest industry is one of the world’s growth stories in the past decade.
Protesting for fun and profit Protesting for fun and profit Protesting for fun and profit Protesting for fun and profit Protesting for fun and profit

Lou Caruana

Unfortunately, the protest industry has the perverse effect of lowering a nation’s gross domestic product and employment figures instead of raising them.

Australia seems to be leading the field and adopting the world’s best practice in protesting. 

The industry gold standard is to cause as much disruption and gain as much media attention as possible while repeating the most inane environmental mantras possible.

Truth or economic common sense does not come into the equation. 

The anti-Adani movement is right up there with the best in the world. Never before has so much damage been done by so few. 

By successfully stalling the $16.5 billion Carmichael coal and infrastructure project, these misguided miscreants are depriving Queensland of $700,000 a day in royalties. At least that is what former Queensland Resources Council CEO Michael Roche reckons.

Hogsback wonders if these protestors ever think about how many teachers in the state’s primary schools or nurses working at its hospitals could be employed if these royalties were allowed to roll in.

Instead, there have been legal hold ups followed by audacious stunts to stop mining from taking place. 

Roche, who describes the protestors as “clueless”, reckons they do not know the difference between the coking coal that is being exported by the scores of ships outside the Central Queensland coast and the thermal coal that will be shipped to India from the Galilee Basin once the Carmichael mine starts production.

These pertinent facts do not matter. Two young protestors decided to disrupt the coal loader at Abbot Point by climbing on to a coal train carrying coking coal in protest against Adani.

Despite being arrested, the stunt was deemed worth it because they got some good photos for their Twitter feed and a bit of local coverage. 

Not only do these protestors stop the wheels of industry turning and slow down exports and employment creation for the local people, they tie up law enforcement and emergency services personnel that could have otherwise been deployed at real incidents where people’s lives are at risk. 

Inspector Steve O’Connell told the Townsville Bulletin illegal protest action drained considerable police time and resources.

Queensland Resources CEO Ian Macfarlane said protestors were unable to accept the laws of this country as well as putting in danger the jobs and livelihoods of Queenslanders.

“The behaviour of these activists is an assault on democracy verging on anarchy and they should be arrested and repay the Queensland taxpayer the full cost of their irresponsible actions,” he said.

Hogsback reckons it is about time the government got serious about the effect of dangerous protesting on the economic health of the nation and the safety of mine personnel.