The 95-year-old taking on China’s ‘great catastrophe’

admin Post in 苏州桑拿
Comments Off on The 95-year-old taking on China’s ‘great catastrophe’

Bill Ryan, a veteran of the Kokoda campaign against the Japanese, says ‘s future depends on winning the battle against the giant coal mines proposed by Adani and other miners in Queensland’s Galilee Basin.
SuZhou Night Recruitment

“We went away to save ,” Mr Ryan, now 95, said outside the Sydney offices of mining contractor Downer on Tuesday. “If we don’t put a stop to these megamines???we’ll end up with a great catastrophe for .”

Mr Ryan was one of about 15 protesters from the Galilee Blockade group who tried to meet Downer chief executive Grant Fenn and other executives to encourage the firm to drop its “preferred contractor” status with Adani.

The Indian-owned miner wants to open up the Galilee with its proposed $16 billion-plus 60 million-tonne-a-year Carmichael mine.

The veteran, who was wounded in action in 1942 and later returned to fight in New Britain, has been arrested in previous protests against coal and coal seam gas.

“I know you’ve got to fight against things that are not right,” Mr Ryan said. “It’s a beautiful country and we can’t allow it to be damaged any more by outdated industries such as fossil fuels.”

Michael Sharp, a spokesman for Downer, said staff had been told in advance “if you can work from home, you should consider it”. Chief executive Mr Fenn was away for the day as well.

Mr Sharp dismissed protesters’ claims that Downer’s offices were largely empty, saying about 200 staff had turned up and others may be out visiting other facilities.

Downer would only become a contractor if it won Adani’s tender and the mine “had all the government and environmental approvals”, he said.

Critics have blasted the risks posed by opening up massive new coal mines at a time when global warming is already threatening the Great Barrier Reef. Some two-thirds of the region’s reefs have bleached in the past two summers as temperature thresholds exceed the tolerance levels of corals.

There are other concerns about Adani’s proposed unlimited access to groundwater and its rehabilitation plans if the mine ever gets developed.

Government backers, such as federal resources minister Matthew Canavan, argue the mine would generate thousands of jobs and displace dirtier coal being burnt by likely customers in India. ‘Resistance-style strategy’

Ben Pennings, a spokesman for Galilee Blockade, said the aim of the protest – and other planned against Downer – was to show “it’s worth their while to get out of bed with Adani”.

“We’re not after their jobs, or to close the road they’re working on, or the solar plant and the wind plant” or even other coal mines, he said.

The group plans “a resistance-style strategy to stop them entering what we consider to be a climate catastrophe and risk hundreds of millions of lives”, he said.

Mr Ryan, whose previous arrests include obstructing trains by squatting rail lines “on a number of occasions”, said non-violent action was needed because companies “take no notice otherwise”.

“We know we have the people with us and I’ll continue as long as I can push my walker around,” the Sutherland Shire resident said.

« Prev: :Next »

Comments are closed.