by Peter Carruthers
ACROSS the country the anti Adani movement held day of action against the Indian coal mining behemoth at the weekend.
A small group of Whitsunday protesters organised by the Australian Marine Conservation Society and Reef Action Whitsunday paid $60 to take part in a local protest on Whitehaven Beach.
On Whitehaven Beach 50 protestors joined 16,000 protesters across the country to send a visual message to the company who plans to build the largest coal mine in the southern hemisphere west of Airlie Beach in the Galilee Basin.
According to the AMC the message was simple. "Stop Adani and stop the loan”.
"The loan” refers to the $900 million loan from the Federal Government needed to build the 388km rail line from the mine site to the coal export port at Abbot Point.
A recent report by the ABC's Four Corners stated the loan from the Federal Government was critical to digging the Abbot Point coal terminal out of debt amounting to $1.4 billion.
Spokesperson for AMCS, Sandra Williams said the sign constructed with beach towels was designed to send a message to government.
"(We are telling) our government not to give corporate giant Adani a $1 billion public loan and say no to all new coral-killing coal mines,” she said.
"Its simple - coal kills coral and local jobs. Yet, both the Federal and Queensland Governments want to hand $1 billion of public money to an overseas billionaire to build a giant, dangerous and polluting coal mine.”
The nation day of action on Saturday has coincided with today's announcement by the Queensland Government which quantified the value of tourism to the Whitsunday economy.
Tourism and Major Events Minister Kate Jones said Regional Tourism Satellite Accounts 2015-16 data showed more than 15% of people on the Gold Coast, in Tropical North Queensland and the Whitsundays were employed in the tourism industry.
"It's not too late to save our reef, but time is critical. That's why we must stop Adani now, look after our precious Reef and the 64,000 jobs that depend on it,” Ms Williams said.